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METHYLDOPA/HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE
METHYLDOPA W/THIAZIDE DIURETICS - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

METHYLDOPA W/THIAZIDE DIURETICS - ORAL

(meth-ill-DOPE-uh WITH THIGH-uh-zide dye-you-RET-ick)

Uses

This combination medication is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Methyldopa relaxes blood vessels resulting in lowered blood pressure. Thiazide diuretics, "water pills," reduce fluid accumulation (edema) by increasing urination.

How To Use

May be taken with food or milk to avoid stomach irritation. Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Try to take it at the same time(s) each day. 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 this medication is suddenly stopped.

Side Effects

Dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, headache, gas, dry mouth, fatigue or stomach upset may occur the first few weeks as your body adjusts to the medication. This medication causes increased urination. Expect this effect. To avoid dizziness and lightheadedness when rising from a seated or lying position, get up slowly. This medication may increase sensitivity to sunlight. Inform your doctor if you develop: chest pain, difficulty breathing, depression, severe stomach cramps, unusual bleeding or bruising, rash, flu symptoms, yellowing of the eyes or skin. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver problems, drug allergies. Limit alcohol intake to minimize dizziness and lightheadedness. This medication may increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Wear protective clothing and a sunscreen. Avoid sunlamps. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. This medication appears in breast milk. Consult with your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

This drug is not recommended for use with: dofetilide. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Tell your doctor of all medicines you may use (both prescription and nonprescription), especially of: lithium, digoxin, MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, linezolid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine), levodopa, antidepressants, iron supplements. Avoid any drugs that increase your heart rate like the decongestants phenylephrine or phenylpropanolamine. These drugs are commonly found in cough-and-cold products and may affect your blood pressure medicine. If you take cholestyramine or colestipol for high cholesterol, take this high blood pressure medicine 1 hour before or 4 hours after. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose include excessive sleepiness, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, slowed heartbeat, confusion, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.

Notes

It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your blood pressure. Discuss this with your doctor. This drug can cause potassium loss. Symptoms of low potassium include dry mouth, thirst, muscle cramps. Ask your doctor about increasing your potassium intake.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from sunlight and moisture.