Questions about Atrial Fibrillation? Get answers from our expert.

Apresoline

Pronunciation

Generic Name: hydralazine (Oral route, Injection route, Intravenous route)

hye-DRAL-a-zeen

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Apresoline

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution
  • Tablet
  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Peripheral Vasodilator

Uses For Apresoline

Hydralazine belongs to the general class of medicines called antihypertensives. It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also used to control high blood pressure in the mother during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia or eclampsia) or in emergency situations when blood pressure is extremely high (hypertensive crisis).

High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled.

Slideshow: Grapefruit and Medicines: A Possible Deadly Mix?

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can react adversely with over 85 prescription medications.

Hydralazine works by relaxing blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload.

Hydralazine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Hydralazine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not specifically included in product labeling, hydralazine is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:

  • Congestive heart failure

Before Using Apresoline

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Although there is no specific information comparing use of hydralazine in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults. However, the oral solution contains aspartame, which is converted to phenylalanine in the body. Children with phenylketonuria cannot process phenylalanine and high levels of this substance in body fluids may cause brain damage.

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of hydralazine in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Enteral Nutrition
  • food

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • Stroke—Lowering blood pressure may make problems resulting from these conditions worse
  • Kidney disease—Effects may be increased because of slower removal of hydralazine from the body
  • Phenylketonuria—The oral solution of hydralazine contains aspartame, which is converted to phenylalanine in the body. Patients with phenylketonuria cannot process phenylalanine and high levels of this substance in body fluids may cause brain damage

Proper Use of Apresoline

For patients taking this medicine for high blood pressure:

  • In addition to the use of the medicine your doctor has prescribed, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and care in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium. Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.
  • Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many may feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.
  • Remember that hydralazine will not cure your high blood pressure but it does help control it. Therefore, you must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life . If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.

For patients taking the oral solution form of hydralazine :

  • The oral solution may be mixed with fruit juice or applesauce. If mixed with fruit juice or applesauce, take immediately after mixing. Be sure to take all of the mixture to get the full dose of the medicine.

This medicine works best if there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep this amount constant, do not miss any doses and take the medicine at the same times each day.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (oral solution and tablets):
    • For high blood pressure:
      • Adults—40 to 200 milligrams (mg) per day divided into two or four doses
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight. The usual dose is 0.75 to 7.5 mg per kilogram (kg) (0.34 to 3.4 mg per pound) of body weight a day. This is divided into two or four doses.
  • For injection dosage form:
    • For high blood pressure:
      • Adults—5 to 40 mg injected into a muscle or a vein. Your doctor may repeat the dose as needed.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight. The usual dose is 1.7 to 3.5 mg per kg (0.77 to 1.6 mg per pound) of body weight a day. This is divided into four to six doses and injected into a muscle or a vein.
    • For high blood pressure during pregnancy:
      • Adults—5 mg injected into a vein every fifteen to twenty minutes.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep the bottle closed when you are not using it. Keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using Apresoline

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly.

Hydralazine may cause some people to have headaches or to feel dizzy. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert.

The oral solution contains 1.4 milligrams (mg) of phenylalanine per teaspoonful (5 mL). Patients with phenylketonuria cannot process phenylalanine and high levels of this substance in body fluids may cause brain damage.

For patients taking this medicine for high blood pressure :

  • Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes over-the-counter (nonprescription) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, since they may tend to increase your blood pressure.

Apresoline Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common
  • Blisters on skin
  • chest pain
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness or weakness
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
  • skin rash or itching
  • sore throat and fever
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • swelling of lymph glands
Rare
  • Fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • sore throat
  • weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Diarrhea
  • fast heartbeat
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • pounding heartbeat
Less common
  • Constipation
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • redness or flushing of face
  • shortness of breath
  • stuffy nose
  • watery eyes

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

The information contained in the Truven Health Micromedex products as delivered by Drugs.com is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

The use of the Truven Health products is at your sole risk. These products are provided "AS IS" and "as available" for use, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Truven Health and Drugs.com make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of any of the information contained in the products. Additionally, TRUVEN HEALTH MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE OPINIONS OR OTHER SERVICE OR DATA YOU MAY ACCESS, DOWNLOAD OR USE AS A RESULT OF USE OF THE THOMSON REUTERS HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Truven Health does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Truven Health products.

Learn about treatments for high cholesterol? Watch video.

Close
Hide
(web3)