Methyldopa 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. Methyldopa is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).
Use Methyldopa as directed by your doctor.
Take Methyldopa by mouth with or without food.
Do not take iron salts within 3 hours before or 2 hours after taking Methyldopa.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Methyldopa.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Methyldopa is an alpha-2 receptor agonist. It reduces elevated blood pressure by relaxing and dilating (widening) blood vessels. Blood flows more freely and at a lower pressure through dilated blood vessels.
If you miss a dose of Methyldopa and are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Methyldopa at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep in a tight, light-resistant container. Keep Methyldopa out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; continuing fatigue; diarrhea; joint or muscle pain; swelling of the legs or feet; unexplained fever; vomiting; weight gain; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Methyldopa is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Methyldopa - contraindications, warnings and precautions
Do not use Methyldopa if:
you are allergic to any ingredient in Methyldopa;
you have liver disease, severe kidney problems, a liver reaction caused by past use of Methyldopa , or a history of anemia caused by your immune system;
you are receiving internal feedings;
you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (e.g., phenelzine).
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Methyldopa may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Methyldopa with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (e.g., sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Methyldopa; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Methyldopa before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
Lab tests, including blood counts and liver function tests, may be performed while you use Methyldopa. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Use Methyldopa with caution in the elderly; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Methyldopa while you are pregnant. Methyldopa is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Methyldopa, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
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