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Methyldopa (By mouth)

Methyldopa (meth-il-DOE-pa)

Treats high blood pressure.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction or liver problems caused by methyldopa, or if you have active liver disease (especially hepatitis or cirrhosis). You should not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®) in the past 14 days.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.
  • Shake the oral liquid just before each use. Measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using lithium, iron supplements, or any other blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, metoprolol, Accupril®, Altace®, Cardizem®, Cardura®, Hytrin®, Lotensin®, Lotrel®, Monopril®, Plendil®, Prinivil®, Tiazac®, Toprol®, Vasotec®, Zestril®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease (or are on dialysis), or a history of stroke or liver disease.
  • If you stop using this medicine, your blood pressure may go up. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Chest pain (may be related to your disease and not a side effect)
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools
  • Fever
  • Lightheadedness or fainting, slow heartbeat
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sudden or severe stomach pain
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet
  • Uncontrolled movements of the face, arms, or legs
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Breast swelling or tenderness (in both men and women)
  • Changes in menstrual periods
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Stomach bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation
  • Stuffy nose

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 8/4/2014


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