Methyldopa is used to treat high blood pressure especially those in pregnant women.
Take Methyldopa exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine may be taken with or without food. To minimise sedation during an increase of new dosage, take Methyldopa in the evening. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have active liver disease, as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Methyldopa with a certain type of medicine used to treat depression and Parkinson's disease, known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) e.g. isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, trancylpromine. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of liver disease
- blood disorders
- kidney disease
- pheochromocytoma (tumour of the adrenal gland)
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine. Avoid taking Methyldopa if you are undergoing dialysis. This medicine is dialyzable.
For as long as you are taking Methyldopa, periodic blood counts, liver function tests, direct Coomb's test and blood pressure must be monitored regularly to check your body's response to the medicine.
Methyldopa may cause drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert. You may also feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying down position, especially if you are taking this medicine for the very first time. This is common and should improve gradually as you get used to Methyldopa. It will help if you get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position. If you are taking this medicine for the very first time, take the first dose of Methyldopa at bedtime to minimise dizziness.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, dry mouth, sore or “black”tongue, headache, light headedness, weakness, tiredness, impaired concentration and memory, nightmares, numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet, swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs, weight gain.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- yellowing of the skin and eyes
- fever with persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers, unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (e.g. being depressed)
- slow heartbeat, worsening of chest pain, fainting
- rashes with skin peeling or blisters
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Methyldopa with a certain type of medicine used to treat depression and Parkinson's disease, known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) e.g. isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, trancylpromine.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g digoxin, metoprolol
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. trifluropherazine, lithium, haloperidol
- medicines for depression e.g. imipramine, nortriptyline
- medicines for parkinson's disease e.g. levodopa, entacapone
- medicines for iron deficiency e.g. ferrous sulphate, ferrous gluconate
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Methyldopa.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.