Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Methyldopa
Why is this drug prescribed: Aldomet is used to treat high blood pressure. It is effective when used alone or with other high blood pressure medications.
Most important fact about this drug: You must take Aldomet regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Aldomet; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Aldomet does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.
How should you take this medication: Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Try not to miss any doses. Do not stop taking the drug without your doctor's knowledge. Drowsiness may occur when dosage is increased. If your doctor increases the amount of Aldomet you take, start the new dosage in the evening. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Keep Aldomet in the container it came in, tightly closed. Store Aldomet tablets at room temperature. Protect from light.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Aldomet. More common side effects may include: Drowsiness during the first few weeks of therapy, fluid retention or weight gain, headache, weakness Less common or rare side effects may include: Anemia, Bell's palsy (paralysis of the face, making it look distorted), bloating, blood disorders, breast development in males, breast enlargement, changes in menstruation, chest pain, congestive heart failure, constipation, decreased mental ability, decreased sex drive, depression, diarrhea, dizziness when standing up, dry mouth, fever, gas, hepatitis, impotence, inflammation of the large intestine, inflammation of the pancreas, inflammation of the salivary glands, involuntary movements, joint pain, light-headedness, liver disorders, milk production, muscle pain, nasal stuffiness, nausea, nightmares, parkinsonism (tremors, shuffling walk, stooped posture, muscle weakness), rash, slow heartbeat, sore or "black" tongue, tingling or pins and needles, vomiting, yellow eyes and skin
Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you have liver disease or cirrhosis, or if you have taken Aldomet before and developed liver disease, do not take this medication. If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Aldomet, or if you have been prescribed the oral suspension form of Aldomet and have ever had an allergic reaction to sulfites, you should not take this medication. If you are taking drugs known as monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, you should not take Aldomet.
Special warnings about this medication: Before you begin taking Aldomet, your doctor should perform a complete study of your liver function, and it should be monitored periodically thereafter. Aldomet can cause liver disorders. You may develop a fever, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), or both, usually within the first 2 to 3 months of therapy. If either of these symptoms occurs, stop taking Aldomet and contact your doctor immediately. If the fever and/or jaundice were caused by the medication, your liver function should gradually return to normal. If you have a history of liver disease, this medication should be used with caution. Hemolytic anemia, a blood disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed, can develop with long-term use of Aldomet; your doctor will do periodic blood counts to check for this problem. Aldomet can cause water retention or weight gain in some people. A diuretic will usually relieve these symptoms. If you are on dialysis and are taking Aldomet for high blood pressure, your blood pressure may rise after your dialysis treatments. Aldomet can cause you to become drowsy or less alert, especially during the first few weeks of therapy or when dosage levels are increased. If it affects you this way, driving or operating heavy machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness is not recommended. Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking Aldomet if you have a medical emergency and before you have surgery or dental treatment.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Aldomet is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Aldomet with the following: Antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors, including Nardil and Parnate Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) Imipramine (Tofranil) Iron-containing products such as Ferrous sulfate (Feosol) and Ferrous gluconate (Fergon) Lithium (Lithonate) Other blood pressure medications such as Catapres and Calan Phenylpropanolamine (a decongestant used in common cold remedies such as Dimetapp, Entex LA, and others) Propranolol (Inderal) Tolbutamide (Orinase)
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The use of Aldomet during pregnancy appears to be relatively safe. However, if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Aldomet appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
Recommended dosage: ADULTS: The usual starting dose is 250 milligrams, 2 or 3 times per day in the first 48 hours of treatment. Your doctor may increase or decrease your dose over the next few days to achieve the correct blood pressure. To reduce the effect of any sedation the medication may cause, dosage increases will usually be given in the evening. The usual maintenance dosage is 500 milligrams to 2 grams per day divided into 2 to 4 doses. The maximum dose is usually 3 grams. Your doctor will also adjust your dosage of Aldomet when it is taken in combination with certain other high blood pressure drugs. If you take Aldomet with a non-thiazide high blood pressure medicine, your doctor will limit the initial dosage to 500 milligrams daily divided into small doses. Dosages will be adjusted, and other high blood pressure drugs may be added, during the first few months of treatment with Aldomet. Those with reduced kidney function may require smaller doses. Older people who are prone to fainting spells due to arterial disease may also require smaller doses. CHILDREN: The usual starting dose is 10 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight daily, divided into 2 to 4 doses. Doses will be adjusted until blood pressure is normal. The maximum daily dose is usually 65 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight or 3 grams, whichever is less. OLDER ADULTS: Dosages of this drug are adjusted to each individual's needs. Lower doses may be prescribed by your doctor.
Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Aldomet overdose may include: Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, extreme drowsiness, gas, light-headedness, nausea, severely low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, vomiting, weakness