IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

METHYLDOPA - ORAL

(meth-ill-DOPE-uh)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Aldomet

USES: This drug is used for high blood pressure (hypertension).

HOW TO USE: Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Try to take it at the same time(s) each day. The tablets may be taken with food or milk to avoid stomach irritation. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

SIDE EFFECTS: Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, gas, dry mouth, fatigue, and stomach upset may occur the first several days as your body adjusts to the medication. Inform your doctor if you develop: chest pain, difficulty breathing, depression, severe stomach cramps, unusual bleeding or bruising, yellowing of the skin or eyes, rash. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver problems, any allergies. To avoid dizziness and lightheadedness when rising from a seated or lying position, get up slowly. Alcohol may increase the dizziness/drowsiness effects of this medication. Limit alcohol intake. Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Methyldopa is excreted into breast milk. Though there have been no recent reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Inform your doctor about all the drugs you may use (both prescription and nonprescription), especially of: lithium, MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline), levodopa, medication for depression, iron supplements, any other blood pressure drugs. Consult your pharmacist or doctor before taking any drugs that increase your heart rate, such as decongestants often found in nonprescription cough-and-cold products: phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine. Caffeine may increase your blood pressure. Caffeine can be found in nonprescription diet medications, in colas, coffee or tea. Limit caffeine intake. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, slowed heart rate, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

NOTES: It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your blood pressure. Discuss this with your doctor.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze liquid forms of this medication.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

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Copyright 2004 by First DataBank, Inc.