Generic Name: methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide (meth-ill-DOE-pa/hye-droe-klor-oh-THYE-a-zide)
Brand Name: Aldoril
Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide is used for:
Treating high blood pressure.
Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide is an antihypertensive and thiazide diuretic combination. It works by relaxing and widening blood vessels and by making the kidneys eliminate sodium (salt) and water from the body, which helps to lower blood pressure.
Do NOT use methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide or to other sulfonamide-derived drugs
- you have severe liver disease (eg, acute hepatitis, cirrhosis), previous liver problems due to methyldopa, adrenal gland problems (eg, pheochromocytoma), or an inability to urinate
- you have a history of autoimmune hemolytic anemia
- you are taking dofetilide, ketanserin, lithium, or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide:
Some medical conditions may interact with methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of kidney or liver problems, bronchial asthma, lupus, adrenal gland problems (eg, pheochromocytoma), low sodium, low potassium, gout, or diabetes
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), diazoxide, digoxin, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), narcotics (eg, codeine), or other medicines for high blood pressure (eg, atenolol) because they may increase the risk of methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide's side effects
- Dofetilide, ketanserin, or lithium because the risk of irregular heartbeat and seizures may be increased
- Cholestyramine, colestipol, iron, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen), or vitamins with iron because they may decrease methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide's effectiveness
- Insulin or oral medicines for diabetes (eg, glyburide) because their effectiveness may be decreased by methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide:
Use methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide by mouth with or without food.
- Take methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- Taking methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
- If you take cholestyramine, colestipol, iron, or vitamins with iron, do not take them at the same time you take methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide. Talk with your doctor about how you should take cholestyramine, colestipol, iron, or vitamins with iron with methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide.
- Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide may increase the amount of urine or cause you to urinate more often when you first start taking it. To keep this from disturbing your sleep, try to take your dose before 6 pm.
- If you miss a dose of methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide, 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.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide.
Important safety information:
- Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting can occur when rising from a seated or lying position. If this occurs, avoid sudden changes in posture.
- Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Your doctor may have prescribed a potassium supplement for you. If so, follow the dosing carefully. Do not start taking additional potassium on your own or change your diet to include more potassium without first checking with your doctor.
- Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal". Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
- Diabetes patients - Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide may interfere with certain lab tests, including urinary catecholamine tests, parathyroid function tests, and uric acid tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including blood cell counts, direct Coombs tests, serum electrolytes, kidney function, and liver function tests, may be performed while you use methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide. 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/hydrochlorothiazide with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide while you are pregnant. Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide.
Possible side effects of methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, 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:
Abnormal skin sensations; blurred vision; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness or lightheadedness drowsiness; dry mouth; gas; headache; tiredness or weakness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; chest pain; fainting; fever; involuntary muscle movements; joint pain; loss of appetite; nightmares; red, swollen, or blistered skin; restlessness; severe dizziness or lightheadedness; severe stomach pain; slow heartbeat; sore throat; unusual muscle pain or spasms; unusual swelling or weight gain; weakness; yellowing of skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include fainting; severe drowsiness, dizziness, or weakness; slow heartbeat.Proper storage of methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide:
Store methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide 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.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.