Generic Name: hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate (hi dral LA zeen and I so zor bi da din eye treyt)
Brand Names: BiDil
What is BiDil?
BiDil contains hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate. Hydralazine is a vasodilator. It relaxes veins and arteries, which makes it easier for your heart to pump.
Isosorbide dinitrate dilates blood vessels. When blood vessels are dilated, it is easier for the heart to pump. Also, more blood, which is rich in oxygen, can flow to the heart.
BiDil is used to treat heart failure.
BiDil may also be used for purposes other than those listed.
Important information about BiDil
You may develop a headache because of this medicine, but do not stop taking it. Take aspirin or acetaminophen to treat the headache. Ask your doctor which is best for you. This side effect usually goes away with continued BiDil treatment.Do not stop taking BiDil suddenly. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking the drug completely. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. BiDil may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.
Before taking BiDil
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you
have low blood pressure;
have had a stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA, or mini-stroke), or a serious head injury;
have an allergy to nitrates;
have closed-angle glaucoma;
suffer from migraines;
have systemic lupus erythematosus;
have high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides (types of fat) in your blood;
have pulmonary hypertension;
- have kidney disease; or
- have liver disease.
You may not be able to take BiDil, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during therapy.BiDil is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether BiDil will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is also not known whether hydralazine or isosorbide dinitrate pass into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience dizziness from hydralazine. You may require a lower dose or special monitoring during therapy.
How should I take BiDil?
Take BiDil exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.Take each dose with a full glass of water. Do not stop taking BiDil suddenly. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking the drug completely. Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: BiDil dosage (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If your next regularly scheduled dose is within 2 hours, skip the dose you missed and take only the next dose. Do Not take a double dose of this medication.
What happens if I overdose?Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of an BiDil overdose include a severe throbbing headache, difficult or slow breathing, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dizziness, fainting, an irregular or slow heart beat, changes in vision, confusion, flushing, and seizures.
What should I avoid while taking BiDil?Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. BiDil may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities. Also, stand up slowly from a lying or sitting position. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol also widens your blood vessels, and it can cause very low blood pressure, dizziness, and drowsiness. If you consume alcohol, you could endanger yourself or others. Do not stop taking BiDil suddenly. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking the drug completely.
BiDil side effectsIf you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking BiDil and seek emergency medical attention:
an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
blurred vision and dry mouth;
irregular heartbeat; or
blood in your urine or stools;
numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of your arms or legs;
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. If you experience any of the following side effects, continue to take isosorbide and talk to your doctor:
headache or dizziness;
flushing (redness of the face, neck and chest);
nausea or vomiting;
swollen ankles; or
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
See also: BiDil side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect BiDil?Do not use sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis) while taking BiDil. The combination could cause severe or life-threatening low blood pressure.
Before taking BiDil, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45); or
any other heart medicines, especially those used to treat high blood pressure or irregular heartbeats.
You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during your treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with BiDil or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
More BiDil resources
Compare BiDil with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist has additional information about BiDil written for health professionals that you may read.
What does my medication look like?
Hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate is available with a prescription under the brand name BiDil. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.
BiDil - 20mg isosorbide dinitrate / 37.5mg hydralazine - biconvex orange tablets.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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