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Northera

Generic Name: Droxidopa (drox i DOE pa)
Brand Name: Northera

Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018

Warning

  • This medicine 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 care. Do this also with any rise in dose. Be sure to rest and sleep with your upper body raised. Talk with your doctor.

Uses of Northera:

  • It is used to treat dizziness or the feeling that you are about to black out.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Northera?

  • If you have an allergy to droxidopa or any other part of Northera (droxidopa).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (eg, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine) talk with your doctor. Taking both at the same time could cause risky high blood pressure.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Linezolid or methylene blue.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Northera (droxidopa).

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Northera (droxidopa).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Northera (droxidopa) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Northera?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Northera (droxidopa). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you are allergic to tartrazine, talk with your doctor. Some products have tartrazine.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Northera (droxidopa) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Northera (droxidopa) while you are pregnant.

How is this medicine (Northera) best taken?

Use Northera (droxidopa) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, open, or crush.
  • Take with or without food but take the same way each time. Always take with food or always take 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.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.

What are some other side effects of Northera?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Northera?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Northera (droxidopa), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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