Generic Name: droxidopa capsules (DROX-i-DOE-pa)
Brand Name: Northera
Northera may cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure could sometimes lead to strokes, heart attacks, and death. You will need to watch your blood pressure closely before and during treatment, especially with any increase in dose. Be sure to rest and sleep with your upper body elevated. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
Northera is used for:
Treating dizziness, light-headedness, or the feeling that you are about to black out in people who have a certain type of low blood pressure (neurogenic orthostatic hypotension [NOH]).
Northera is an amino acid analog. Exactly how it works is unknown.
Do NOT use Northera if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Northera
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Northera:
Some medical conditions may interact with Northera. 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 heart problems (eg, heart failure, irregular heartbeat)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Northera. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Medicines that raise blood pressure (eg, midodrine; "triptans," such as sumatriptan). There are many medicines that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure
- Certain medicines to treat Parkinson disease (eg, carbidopa) because they may increase the risk of Northera's side effects
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Northera 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 Northera:
Use Northera as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Swallow Northera whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- Take Northera by mouth with or without food. It is important to take it the same way each time with regard to food. If you take it with food, try to always take it with food. If you prefer to take it on an empty stomach, then always try to take it on an empty stomach.
- Be sure to take your last dose of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime. This will help lower the chance of high blood pressure during sleep.
- If you miss a dose of Northera, 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 Northera.
Important safety information:
- Be sure to check your blood pressure while taking Northera as you have been told by your doctor.
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possibly fatal syndrome that has happened with Northera. Symptoms may include fever; stiff muscles; confusion; abnormal thinking; fast or irregular heartbeat; and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
- This product contains tartrazine dye (FD&C Yellow No. 5). This may cause an allergic reaction in some patients. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to tartrazine, talk with your doctor.
- PREGNANCY AND BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Northera while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Northera.
Possible side effects of Northera:
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:
Dizziness; headache; nausea.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); symptoms of high blood pressure (eg, severe or persistent headache or dizziness, vision changes).
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.Proper storage of Northera:
Store Northera at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Northera out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Northera, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Northera 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 Northera 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 Northera. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Northera. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Northera.
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.