Reserpine may be used on its own or together with other medicine to keep your blood pressure under control.
It is also used to treat mood disorders such as schizophrenia (mental disorder characterized by impaired thoughts or emotions).
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Reserpine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine should be taken with food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Reserpine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
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 depression or a history of depression (especially with suicidal tendencies)
- have stomach ulcer or inflammation of the bowel
- are receiving electroconvulsive therapy (procedure in which electric current is passed through the brain)
as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have any of these:
- epilepsy (fits or seizure)
- kidney disease
- heart disease e.g. abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack
- gallstone (abnormal stone like mass formation in the gall bladder)
- Parkinson's disease (disorder that affects movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement and impaired balance or walking)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Reserpine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Your heart condition may also change without you noticing it. Your doctor needs to monitor you and check your response to the medication regularly.
What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my blood pressure or heart condition?
Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Engage in physical activity (e.g. walking) at least 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start with light exercises such as slow walks. Speak to your doctor about what type of exercise would be suitable for you. Follow a healthy diet plan by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Cutting down on deep-fried foods and using less salt when cooking can kick-start your healthy diet.
If you smoke, you should try to quit. Smoking is harmful to your blood pressure, heart and overall health. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to kick your smoking habit.
Reserpine may cause drowsiness and dizziness. 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 Reserpine. 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 this medicine at bedtime to minimise dizziness.
Other side effects may include any of the following: blocked nose, dry mouth, headache, lack of energy, nightmares, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.
Women may experience breast engorgement and excessive milk production while men may experience breast enlargement and impotence. Discuss with your doctor if you are concerned about these side effects.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed)
- thoughts of self-harm
- slow or irregular heartbeat
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor if you are taking any of these:
- medicines for nasal congestion e.g. ephedrine,phenylephrine
- medicines for heart disease e.g. digoxin
- medicines for abnormal heart rhythm e.g. quinidine
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. propranolol
- medicines for Parkinson's disease e.g. levodopa
- medicines for depression e.g. isocarboxacid, phenelzine
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Reserpine.
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.