What is this medication?
Alpha2-Adrenergic Agonist; Antihypertensive
Methyldopa is indicated for treatment of hypertension.
How does this medication work?
The primary mechanism of Methyldopa is activation of central alpha-adrenergic receptors by an artificial neurotransmitter alpha-methylnorepinephrine which results in reduce sympathetic output to the heart, kidneys, and peripheral vasculature.
How should I take this medication?
Oral: 250mg 2-3 times daily; adjust daily dose every 2 days as needed to a maximum dose of 3,000 mg/day. Standard dosage range is 250 to 1,000 mg daily in 2 divided.
Note: When administered with other antihypertensives other than thiazide diuretics, limit initial daily dose of methyldopa to 500 mg/day.
How to Take: Administer new dosage increases in the evening to minimize sedation. Dietary requirements for vitamin B12 and folate may be increased with high doses of methyldopa. Tolerance may occur usually between the second and third month of therapy; adding a diuretic or increasing the dosage of methyldopa frequently restores blood pressure control.
You Need to Avoid: Do not discontinue therapy abruptly. When discontinuing, taper gradually to decrease risk of withdrawal symptoms (i.e. rebound hypertension).
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Methyldopa make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have liver disease (including from prior methyldopa use), cerebrovascular disease, pheochromocytoma, or renal impairment. Due to its alpha agonist activity, some patients may experience bradycardia, CNS depression (i.e. sedation, drowsiness) and hypotension/syncope. Methyldopa use has been associated with rare but serious adverse events such as edema, hematologic effects, and hepatic effects.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Bradycardia, cardiac failure, exacerbations of angina pectoris, myocarditis, orthostatic hypotension, pericarditis, peripheral edema, prolonged carotid sinus syncope, vasculitis, Bell’s Palsy, cerebrovascular insufficiency symptoms, choreoathetosis, CNS depression, depression, dizziness, headache, nightmare, paresthesia, Parkinson’s disease, sedation, skin rash, toxic epidermal necrolysis, amenorrhea, decreased libido, gynecomastia, hyperprolactinemia, weight gain, nasal congestion, increased blood urea nitrogen, positive LE cell preparation, abdominal distention, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, glossalgia, melanoglossia, nausea, pancreatitis, sialadenitis, vomiting, xerostomia, impotence, lactation, bone marrow suppression, eosinophilia granulocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, positive ANA titer, positive direct Coombs test, thrombocytopenia, abnormal liver function tests, hepatitis, jaundice, arthralgia, lupus-like syndrome, myalgia, positive rheumatoid factor, weakness.
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