methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide - oral
GENERIC NAME: METHYLDOPA/HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE - ORAL (meth-ill-DOPE-uh/HYE-droe-KLOR-oh-THYE-a-zide)
USES: This medication is used alone or with other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks and kidney problems. Methyldopa blocks certain natural chemicals (e.g., epinephrine, norepinephrine) that can raise your blood pressure. Hydrochlorothiazide helps your body get rid of excess water. It is a "water pill" (diuretic).
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth with or without food, 1 to 3 times daily or as directed by your doctor.Your dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your doctor will usually start you on the individual medications, switching you over to this combination product when the best dose combination for you is found. It may take several weeks to find the right dose for you.Your doctor may recommend that you eat foods rich in potassium (e.g., bananas or orange juice) while taking this medication. Your doctor may also prescribe a potassium supplement for you to take during treatment with this drug.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.Drugs that can decrease the absorption of hydrochlorothiazide include cholestyramine and colestipol. If you are taking either of these drugs, take this medication at least 4 hours after cholestyramine and 2 hours after colestipol.It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Your doctor may adjust your dose of this medication when you start or stop taking other blood pressure medications .Learn how to monitor your blood pressure while taking this medication. This will help you and your doctor make sure the medication is working well.When this medication is used for an extended time, it may not work as well, and you may need a higher dose or a different medication. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well (e.g., your blood pressure readings increase.)If you have any questions regarding this information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
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