Methyldopa is used to treat high blood pressure. Methyldopa is in a class of medications called antihypertensives. It works by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body.
Methyldopa comes as a tablet and a liquid to take by mouth. It usually is taken two to four times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take methyldopa exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the liquid well before each dose to mix the medication evenly. Use a dose-measuring spoon or cup to measure the correct amount of liquid for each dose, not a regular household spoon.
Methyldopa controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take methyldopa even if you feel well. Do not stop taking methyldopa without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking methyldopa, your blood pressure may increase and you may experience side effects. Your doctor will decrease your dose gradually.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
talk to your doctor about the risks of taking methyldopa if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take methyldopa because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
Your doctor may prescribe a low-salt or low-sodium diet. Follow these directions carefully.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
swollen ankles or feet
yellowing of the skin or eyes
Methyldopa may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). The liquid may be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to methyldopa. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to monitor your red blood cell count and liver function.
Methyldopa may cause your urine to darken when it is exposed to air. This effect is harmless.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 10/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.