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Apresoline (Injection)


Generic Name: hydralazine (Injection route)


Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Apresoline
  • Novaplus HydrALAZINE Hydrochloride

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Peripheral Vasodilator

Uses For Apresoline

Hydralazine injection is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). 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. Lowering blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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

This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.

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:


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.


Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of hydralazine injection have not been performed in the pediatric population. However, no pediatric-specific problems have been documented to date.


No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of hydralazine injection in geriatric patients.


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. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

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:

  • Angina (severe chest pain) or
  • Blood disease or
  • Heart attack, history of or
  • Heart rhythm problems or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
  • Peripheral neuritis (nerve problem) or
  • Stroke, history of or
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Coronary artery disease or
  • Mitral valvular rheumatic heart disease—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use of hydralazine

This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain hydralazine. It may not be specific to Apresoline. Please read with care.

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Your doctor will give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.

Precautions While Using Apresoline

It is important that your doctor check you closely while you are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

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 not alert.

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 or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Am, back, or jaw pain
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
Less common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • blindness or vision changes
  • blurred vision
  • burning of the face or mouth
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, painful, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chills
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • confusion
  • cough
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fever and sore throat
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, feet
  • swelling
  • swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weakness in the hands or feet
  • Dark urine
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • light-colored stools
  • nausea and vomiting
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • yellow eyes and skin

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Feeling of warmth
  • headache
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest

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
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
Less common
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • difficulty with moving
  • dizziness
  • feeling anxious or depressed
  • muscle cramps, pain, or stiffness
  • pain in the joints
  • rash, hives or welts, itching

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)

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