What Is Reserpine Used For and How Does it Work?

Reserpine is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), psychiatric disorders, and tardive dyskinesia.

Reserpine is available under the following different brand names: Serpasil.

Dosages of Reserpine


  • 0.1 mg
  • 0.25 mg

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:



  • 0.5 mg daily for 1 or 2 weeks


  • 0.1-0.25 mg orally once daily
  • Use higher dosages cautiously occurrence of mental depression or other adverse reactions may increase


  • 0.02 mg/kg/day orally once daily or divided every 12 hours, not to exceed 0.25 mg/day


  • Adverse central nervous system (CNS) effects; may cause slow heart rate and dizziness on standing (orthostatic hypotension); not recommended as routine treatment for hypertension (Beers criteria)
  • 0.05 mg orally once daily; may increase by 0.05 mg after 1 week as needed; not to exceed 0.1 mg/day

Psychiatric Disorders

  • 0.5 mg daily, but may range from 0.1 to 1 mg; titrate dose according to patient response

Tardive Dyskinesia

  • 0.25 mg every 6 hours; may increase by 0.1-0.25 mg to a total of 5 mg daily

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Reserpine?

Side effects of Reserpine include:

What Other Drugs Interact with Reserpine?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

  • Reserpine has no listed severe interactions with other drugs.
  • Reserpine has no listed serious interactions with other drugs.
  • Moderate interactions of reserpine include:
    • esketamine intranasal
    • lemborexant

Reserpine has no listed mild interactions with other drugs.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Reserpine?


This medication contains reserpine. Do not take Serpasil if you are allergic to reserpine or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Reserpine?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Reserpine?"


  • Use caution in asthma, gallstones, Parkinson's disease, renal impairment, inflammatory bowel disease or history of peptic ulcer disease
  • Significant mental depression may occur with high doses
  • Use caution in patients at risk of hypotension
  • History of gall stones, peptic ulcer disease, ulcerative colitis
  • Breastfeeding
  • Avoid during breastfeeding

Pregnancy and Lactation

Use reserpine with caution during pregnancy if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available or neither animal nor human studies were done.

Reserpine is excreted into breast milk. It is unsafe for use while breastfeeding.

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