The reference site for Methyldopa

Methyldopa, sold under the brand name Aldomet among others, is a medication used for high blood pressure.

WHAT IS Methyldopa?

Methyldopa is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

This medication lowers blood pressure by decreasing the levels of certain chemicals in your blood. This allows your blood vessels (veins and arteries) to relax (widen) and your heart to beat more slowly and easily.

Its use has now decreased following the introduction of alternative safer classes of agents. Nevertheless, it continues to have a role in otherwise difficult to treat hypertension and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

 

Brand Name(s): Aldomet; Amodopa
CAS nº: 555-30-6
(meth ill DOE pa)

 

Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to methyldopa and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Methyldopa has been approved by the US FDA. A prescription is required for this medicine.

When introduced, methyldopa was a mainstay of antihypertensive therapy, but its use has declined due to the increased use of other safer classes of agents. One of its important present-day uses is in the management of pregnancy-induced hypertension, as it is relatively safe in pregnancy compared to other antihypertensive drugs.

Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Methyldopa is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

This medication lowers blood pressure by decreasing the levels of certain chemicals in your blood. This allows your blood vessels (veins and arteries) to relax (widen) and your heart to beat more slowly and easily.

Its use has now decreased following the introduction of alternative safer classes of agents. Nevertheless, it continues to have a role in otherwise difficult to treat hypertension and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication has not been approved for any alternative uses other than those mentioned in the product information section.

Dosage and using this medicine

Methyldopa comes as a tablet and liquid, to be taken orally. It is usually taken two to four times a day.

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each tablet dose with a full glass of water.

Shake the suspension well before measuring a dose. To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid form of methyldopa with a special dose-measuring spoon, not with a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Do not stop taking this medication suddenly even if you feel better. You may need to take methyldopa for the rest of your life to control your condition.

What special precautions should I follow?

BEFORE TAKING METHYLDOPA:

You cannot take methyldopa if you have any type of liver disease.

Also, please inform your doctor if you have any type of heart disease, have had a heart attack or a stroke, or have kidney disease. You may need a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment with methyldopa if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Do not take methyldopa if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or if you have taken one in the last 14 days. MAOIs, used to treat depression, include isocarboxazid (Marplan®), phenelzine (Nardil®), and tranylcypromine (Parnate®).

Additionally, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines: lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®, others); haloperidol (Haldol®); levodopa (Dopar®, Larodopa®, Sinemet®); tolbutamide (Orinase®); a respiratory medicine such as albuterol (Ventolin®, Proventil®, Volmax®, others), pirbuterol (Maxair®), or salmeterol (Serevent®); a beta-blocker such as carteolol (Cartrol®), carvedilol (Coreg®), labetalol (Trandate®, Normodyne®), nadolol (Corgard®), propranolol (Inderal®), pindolol (Visken®), or timolol (Blocadren®); a phenothiazine such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), prochlorperazine (Compazine®), perphenazine (Trilafon®), fluphenazine (Prolixin®), or thioridazine (Mellaril®); a barbiturate such as phenobarbital (Luminal®, Solfoton®), pentobarbital (Nembutal®), or secobarbital (Seconal®); or a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil®, Endep®), imipramine (Tofranil®), doxepin (Sinequan®), or nortriptyline (Pamelor®). You may require special monitoring or a dose adjustment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with methyldopa or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Methyldopa is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not likely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take methyldopa without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Moreover, methyldopa passes into breast milk. It is not known whether methyldopa will harm a nursing infant, but do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from methyldopa therapy. You may require a lower dose.

Use cautiously when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methyldopa may cause dizziness or drowsiness, so try to avoid these activities.

Take care when rising from a sitting or lying position, especially first thing in the morning. You may become dizzy while taking methyldopa and you may fall and injure yourself if you get up too quickly.

Avoid alcohol while taking methyldopa. It may increase the drowsiness and may also increase dizziness.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose.

Never take a double dose of this medication.

What side effects can this medication cause?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking methyldopa and seek emergency medical attention:

an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, closing of your throat, swelling of your lips, tongue, or face, or hives)
a very slow heart rate (fewer than 60 beats per minute)
unusually high or low blood pressure (fainting, a severe headache, or flushing of your face)
chest pain
uncontrollable movements of your arms, legs, or facial muscles
yellowing of your skin or eyes
unusual bleeding or bruising

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take methyldopa and talk to your doctor if you experience

unusual fatigue, dizziness, or tiredness
headache
constipation, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
insomnia
dry mouth (sucking on ice chips or sugarless hard candy may relieve this side effect)

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Always keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). The liquid may be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Please remember to throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If necessary, talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call the local emergency services immediately on 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

drowsiness
lethargy
weakness
lightheadedness
a slow heart rate
nausea
vomiting
possibly seizures

Product Images

PICTURES OF METHYLDOPA PRODUCTS

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of methyldopa that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: METHYLDOPA
Strength(s): 250 MG
Imprint: Z 2931
Manufacturer: IVAX PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: METHYLDOPA
Strength(s): 250 MG
Imprint: MYLAN | 611
Manufacturer: MYLAN

Name: ALDOMET®
Strength(s): 250 MG
Imprint: ALDOMET | MSD 401
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.
Distributor: PHYSICIANS TOTAL CARE INC.

Name: METHYLDOPA
Strength(s): 500 MG
Imprint: MYLAN | 421
Manufacturer: MYLAN

Name: ALDOMET®
Strength(s): 500 MG
Imprint: ALDOMET | MSD 516
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.

Name: METHYLDOPA
Strength(s): 500 MG
Imprint: Z 2932
Manufacturer: IVAX PHARMACEUTICALS

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