"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today launched an annual challenge designed to identify and honor clinicians and health care teams that have helped their patients control high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes."...
The following adverse reactions have been reported and, within each category, are listed in order of decreasing severity.
Sedation, usually transient, may occur during the initial period of therapy or whenever the dose is increased. Headache, asthenia, or weakness may be noted as early and transient symptoms. However, significant adverse effects due to methyldopa have been infrequent and this agent usually is well tolerated.
Endocrine: Hyperprolactinemia.Myocarditis, pericarditis, vasculitis, lupus-like syndrome, drug-related fever, eosinophilia.
Nervous System/Psychiatric: Parkinsonism, Bell's palsy, decreased mental acuity, involuntary choreoathetotic movements, symptoms of cerebrovascular insufficiency, psychic disturbances including nightmares and reversible mild psychoses or depression, headache, sedation, asthenia or weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, paresthesias.
Metabolic: Rise in BUN.
Respiratory: Nasal stuffiness.
Body as a Whole: Weakness.
Hypersensitivity: Anaphylactic reactions, necrotizing angiitis (vasculitis and cutaneous vasculitis), respiratory distress including pneumonitis and pulmonary edema, photosensitivity, fever, urticaria, rash, purpura.
Nervous System/Psychiatric: Vertigo, paresthesias, dizziness, headache, restlessness.
Read the Aldoril (methyldopa-hydrochlorothiazide) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
When methyldopa is used with other antihypertensive drugs, potentiation of antihypertensive effect may occur. Patients should be followed carefully to detect side reactions or unusual manifestations of drug idiosyncrasy.
Patients may require reduced doses of anesthetics when on methyldopa. If hypotension does occur during anesthesia, it usually can be controlled by vasopressors. The adrenergic receptors remain sensitive during treatment with methyldopa.
Several studies demonstrate a decrease in the bioavailability of methyldopa when it is ingested with ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate. This may adversely affect blood pressure control in patients treated with methyldopa. Coadministration of methyldopa with ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate is not recommended.
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors: See CONTRAINDICATIONS.
When given concurrently the following drugs may interact with thiazide diuretics.
Alcohol, barbiturates, or narcotics — potentiation of orthostatic hypotension may occur.
Antidiabetic drugs (oral agents and insulin) — dosage adjustment of the antidiabetic drug may be required.
Other antihypertensive drugs — additive effect or potentiation.
Cholestyramine and colestipol resins — Absorption of hydrochlorothiazide is impaired in the presence of anionic exchange resins. Single doses of either cholestyramine or colestipol resins bind the hydrochlorothiazide and reduce its absorption from the gastrointestinal tract by up to 85 and 43 percent, respectively.
Corticosteroids, ACTH — intensified electrolyte depletion, particularly hypokalemia.
Pressor amines (e.g., norepinephrine) — possible decreased response to pressor amines but not sufficient to preclude their use.
Skeletal muscle relaxants, nondepolarizing (e.g., tubocurarine) — possible increased responsiveness to the muscle relaxant.
Lithium — generally should not be given with diuretics. Diuretic agents reduce the renal clearance of lithium and add a high risk of lithium toxicity. Refer to the package insert for lithium preparations before use of such preparations with ALDORIL (methyldopa-hydrochlorothiazide) .
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs — In some patients, the administration of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent can reduce the diuretic, natriuretic, and antihypertensive effects of loop, potassium-sparing and thiazide diuretics. Therefore, when ALDORIL (methyldopa-hydrochlorothiazide) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents are used concomitantly, the patient should be observed closely to determine if the desired effect of the diuretic is obtained.
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
Methyldopa may interfere with measurement of: urinary uric acid by the phosphotungstate method, serum creatinine by the alkaline picrate method, and SGOT by colorimetric methods. Interference with spectrophotometric methods for SGOT analysis has not been reported.
Since methyldopa causes fluorescence in urine samples at the same wave lengths as catecholamines, falsely high levels of urinary catecholamines may be reported. This will interfere with the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma. It is important to recognize this phenomenon before a patient with a possible pheochromocytoma is subjected to surgery. Methyldopa does not interfere with measurement of VMA (vanillylmandelic acid), a test for pheochromocytoma, by those methods which convert VMA to vanillin. Methyldopa is not recommended for the treatment of patients with pheochromocytoma. Rarely, when urine is exposed to air after voiding, it may darken because of breakdown of methyldopa or its metabolites.
Thiazides should be discontinued before carrying out tests for parathyroid function (see PRECAUTIONS, General).
Read the Aldoril Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/30/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Aldoril Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get tips on handling your hypertension.