Generic Name : METHYLDOPA
Pronunciation : (meth ill doe' pa)
Trade Name(s) : Alphadopa, Dopagyt, Sembrina
Why it is prescribed: Methyldopa controls high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more smoothly through the body.
When it is to be taken: Methyldopa is usually taken two to four times a day. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully. Methyldopa controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Therefore, it is important that you take this medication regularly. You may need to take Methyldopa for two or three days before feeling its full effects.
How it should be taken: Methyldopa comes in the form of tablets and oral liquid. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose. The liquid bottle should be shaken well before each dose. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon to be sure of an accurate dose. Your doctor may change the amount you take from time to time, depending on your response to the medication.
Special Instruction :
1. Methyldopa makes some people drowsy. Do not drive a care or operate dangerous machinery until you know whether you will experience this side effect; it usually occurs within 48 to 72 hours after you begin to take Methyldopa or after a dose increase.
2. Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly, and blood tests may be done occasionally.
3. Do not stop taking Methyldopa without consulting your doctor.
4. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if you remember a missed dose at the time you are scheduled to take the next one, take only one dose.
Side Effects :
1. Drowsiness. This side effect should disappear as you continue to take the medication.
2. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, nasal congestion. Contact your doctor if these effects persist or are severe.
3. Dizziness, lighteadedness. Try getting up slowly from a lying or sitting position.
4. Decreased sexual ability, fever, enlarged breasts, uncontrollable movements, unusual bleeding or bruising, yellowing of the eyes or skin, weight gain, swelling of the ankles. Talk to your doctor; your dose or your medication may need to be changed.
Other Precautions :
1. If you ever had a liver problem, tell your doctor before taking Methyldopa. Some drugs may cause undesired effects when taken with Methyldopa.
2. Tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially Levodopa, lithium, medication for depression, and tranquilizers.
3. Before having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor about your blood pressure medications.
Storage Conditions :
1. Keep this medication in the container it came in and out of the reach of children.
2. Store the oral liquid in the refrigerator or in a cool place at room temperature.
3. Store the tablets at room temperature.