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Generic Name: methyldopa (METH il DOE pa)
Brand Name: Aldomet

What is Aldomet (methyldopa)?

Methyldopa lowers blood pressure by decreasing the levels of certain chemicals in your blood. This allows your blood vessels (veins and arteries) to relax (widen) and your heart to beat more slowly and easily.

Methyldopa is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

Methyldopa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Aldomet (methyldopa)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to methyldopa, or if you have liver disease (especially cirrhosis), or a history of liver problems caused by taking methyldopa.

Do not use methyldopa if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

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Before you take methyldopa, tell your doctor if you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), heart disease, angina (chest pain), or a history of heart attack or stroke.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

If you need surgery or a blood transfusion, tell your caregivers ahead of time that you are using methyldopa.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver function may need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Aldomet (methyldopa)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to methyldopa, or if you have:

  • liver disease (especially cirrhosis); or

  • a history of liver problems caused by taking methyldopa.

Do not use methyldopa if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

To make sure you can safely take methyldopa, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • a history of liver disease;

  • heart disease, angina (chest pain); or

  • a history of heart attack or stroke.

FDA pregnancy category B. Methyldopa is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Methyldopa passes into breast milk. It is not known whether methyldopa will harm a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Aldomet (methyldopa)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using methyldopa.

If you need surgery or a blood transfusion, tell your caregivers ahead of time that you are using methyldopa.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver function may need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, vomiting, slow heartbeats, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Aldomet (methyldopa)?

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of methyldopa.

Aldomet (methyldopa) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • slow heart rate;

  • pale or yellowed skin, fever, confusion or weakness;

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;

  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; or

  • muscle movements you cannot control.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • weight gain;

  • drowsiness, dizziness, weakness;

  • headache;

  • joint pain or swelling, muscle pain;

  • dry mouth;

  • vomiting, stomach pain;

  • swollen or "black" tongue;

  • constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas;

  • depressed mood, unusual thoughts, nightmares;

  • numbness or tingly feeling;

  • stuffy nose;

  • missed menstrual periods; or

  • breast swelling or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Aldomet (methyldopa)?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • ferrous gluconate, a type of iron (Ferate, Fergon);

  • ferrous sulfate, a type of iron (Feosol, Fer-in-Sol, Feratab, and others);

  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); or

  • any other blood pressure medications.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with methyldopa. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about methyldopa.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2011-06-13, 2:17:59 PM.

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