SIDE EFFECTS WARNING:
- Methyldopa may cause anemia (low number of red blood cells). Before starting treatment, doctors may order certain blood tests to check blood levels of red blood cells. Additionally, periodic blood tests should be done during treatment to detect hemolytic anemia (spontaneous break-down of red blood cells). Methyldopa should be discontinued if hemolytic anemia occurs during treatment.
- Methyldopa should be used cautiously in patients who have a history of liver disease and should be avoided in patients with active liver disease including acute hepatitis and active cirrhosis.
- Methyldopa may cause water retention (edema or swelling of the legs) or weight gain in some patients and, therefore, should be used cautiously in heart failure patients.
- Methyldopa is removed by certain types of dialysis procedures. In certain dialysis patients, hypertension (high blood pressure) has occurred as a result of methyldopa being removed from the body during dialysis.
- Methyldopa should be used cautiously in patients with cerebrovascular disease because involuntary movements have been observed during treatment.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Oral tablets: 250 and 500 mg
STORAGE: Methyldopa should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C 59 F and 86 F).
- The usual starting dose of methyldopa for adults is 250 mg two or three times a day in the first 48 hours.
- If needed, the dosage may be increased or decreased, preferably in intervals of no less than 48 hours (2 days).
- As methyldopa may cause sedation, evening administration is preferred.
- If methyldopa must be given with anti-hypertensive medications other than thiazides (diuretics), the starting dose of methyldopa should be limited to 500 mg per day in divided doses.
- The usual maintenance dose of methyldopa for blood pressure control is 500 to 2 grams in two to four divided doses. The maximum recommended daily dosage is 3 grams.
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