Methyldopa lowers blood pressure by decreasing the levels of certain chemicals in your blood. This allows your blood vessels (veins and arteries) to relax and your heart to beat more slowly and easily.
Chlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill). It helps to lower your blood pressure and decrease edema (swelling) by increasing the amount of salt and water you lose in your urine.
Chlorothiazide and methyldopa is used to treat high blood pressure.
Chlorothiazide and methyldopa may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Do not stop taking chlorothiazide and methyldopa suddenly. Stopping suddenly could cause severely high blood pressure, nervousness, and anxiety. When you are beginning therapy with chlorothiazide and methyldopa or when your dosage has just changed, take your medication at bedtime if possible. Chlorothiazide and methyldopa will make you drowsy and may cause some dizziness. Taking it at bedtime will prevent you from falling. After you become accustomed to the effects of this medication, you can take it earlier in the day to avoid having to urinate during the night.
Stand up slowly from a sitting or lying position.Do not use alcohol, antihistamines, prescription pain relievers, sleeping pills, or other drugs that may cause drowsiness or dizziness, except under the supervision of your doctor.
You must not take chlorothiazide and methyldopa if you
- have any type of liver disease;
have an allergy to sulfa-based drugs such as sulfa antibiotics (you may have an allergic reaction to chlorothiazide); or
are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you
have any type of heart disease,
have had a heart attack or a stroke,
- have kidney disease,
have high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides (types of fat) in your blood,
- have diabetes,
- have gout,
have a collagen vascular disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus, or
- have pancreatitis.
You may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.Chlorothiazide and methyldopa is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether chlorothiazide and methyldopa will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Chlorothiazide and methyldopa passes into breast milk. It is not known whether this drug will harm a nursing infant. Do not take chlorothiazide and methyldopa without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from chlorothiazide and methyldopa therapy. You may require a lower dose.
Take chlorothiazide and methyldopa exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.Take each dose with a full glass of water.
Take this medication at bedtime when you are beginning therapy or when your dosage has changed. Chlorothiazide and methyldopa will make you drowsy and may cause some dizziness. Taking it at bedtime will prevent falls and injuries. When you become used to the effects, you may take the medication earlier in the day to prevent nighttime urination.
Do not stop taking this medication suddenly even if you feel better. You may need to take chlorothiazide and methyldopa for the rest of your life to control your condition.Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of a chlorothiazide and methyldopa overdose include drowsiness, lethargy, weakness, lightheadedness, a slow heart rate, irregular heartbeats, nausea, vomiting, and possibly seizures.
Avoid a diet high in salt. Too much salt will cause your body to retain water and will decrease the effects of chlorothiazide.Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Chlorothiazide may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.
Avoid becoming overheated in hot weather. It is easy to become dangerously dehydrated while taking chlorothiazide and methyldopa.Avoid alcohol while taking chlorothiazide and methyldopa. Alcohol, which will further lower your blood pressure, will increase the drowsiness caused by chlorothiazide and methyldopa and may also increase dizziness. Use caution even with small amounts of alcohol.
Avoid other drugs such as sleeping pills, prescription pain relievers, antihistamines, and antidepressants. These products will also increase the drowsiness you experience. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any other prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking.Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Chlorothiazide and methyldopa may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking chlorothiazide and methyldopa and seek emergency medical attention:
an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
a very slow heart rate (less than 60 beats per minute);
unusually high or low blood pressure (fainting, a severe headache, flushing of your face);
uncontrollable movements of your arms, legs, or facial muscles;
yellowing of your skin or eyes;
unusual bleeding or bruising; or
little or no urine.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take chlorothiazide and methyldopa any talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following:
fatigue, dizziness, tiredness;
tingling or numbness in your arms, legs, hands, or feet;
constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea;
increased hunger or thirst or a dry mouth (sucking on ice chips or sugarless hard candy may relieve this side effect);
muscle weakness or cramps;
sensitivity to sunlight.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
Do not take chlorothiazide and methyldopa if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), or if you have taken one in the last 14 days. MAOIs, used to treat depression, include isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
barbiturates such as phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), amobarbital (Amytal), or secobarbital (Seconal), which may cause extreme sleepiness or dizziness if taken with chlorothiazide and methyldopa;
narcotic pain relievers such as codeine (Tylenol #3, Tylenol #4, others), propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet, Wygesic), oxycodone (Percodan, Percocet, Tylox), meperidine (Demerol), morphine (MS Contin, Duramorph, others), and others also may cause extreme sleepiness or dizziness if taken with chlorothiazide and methyldopa;
steroid medications such as hydrocortisone (Hydrocortone, Cortef), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), prednisolone (Delta Cortef, Prelone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), betamethasone (Celestone), dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol), and others, which may increase the side effects of chlorothiazide;
prescription and over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, diet, and sleeping pills, which may affect your condition or your treatment with chlorothiazide and methyldopa;
the cholesterol-lowering drugs cholestyramine (Questran) and colestipol (Colestid), which may decrease the effects of chlorothiazide;
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), ketoprofen (Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail), and naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Aleve), which may decrease the effects of chlorothiazide and also may increase the risk of damage to your kidneys;
- other commonly used NSAIDs, including diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), fenoprofen (Nalfon), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac (Clinoril), and tolmetin (Tolectin);
oral antidiabetic drugs such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Micronase, Glynase, Diabeta), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolazamide (Tolinase), and tolbutamide (Orinase), which may not lower your blood sugar as well during therapy with chlorothiazide and methyldopa (your diabetes therapy may have to be adjusted);
lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith, others), which should not be taken with chlorothiazide because serious side effects may result; or
other drugs that also lower blood pressure, including acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carteolol (Cartrol), labetolol (Trandate, Normodyne), propranolol (Inderal), pindolol (Visken), timolol (Blocadren), benazepril (Lotensin), enalapril (Vasotec), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), amlodipine (Norvasc), bepridil (Vascor), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor), felodipine (Plendil), isradipine (Dynacirc), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), nimodipine (Nimotop), and verapamil (Calan, Veralan, Isoptin).
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with chlorothiazide and methyldopa or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
- Your pharmacist has additional information about chlorothiazide and methyldopa written for health professionals that you may read.
Chlorothiazide and methyldopa is available with a prescription under the brand name Aldoclor. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.
Chlorothiazide/methyldopa strengths are as follows:
Aldoclor 150 (150 mg/250 mg)--oval, beige, film-coated tablets
Aldoclor 250 (250 mg/250 mg)--oval, green, film-coated tablets
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:05:13 PM.;
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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