hydrochlorothiazide-methyldopa (generic name)

It is used to treat high blood pressure
(hye droe klor oh THYE a zide; meth ill DOE pa)
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What is this medicine?

HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE; METHYLDOPA (hye droe klor oh THYE a zide; meth ill DOE pa) is a combination of a diuretic and another medicine used to lower blood pressure. It is used to treat high blood pressure.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • anemia
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • immune system problems, like lupus
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • small amount of urine or difficulty passing urine
  • taken an MAOI like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, or Parnate in the last 14 days
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to hydrochlorothiazide, methyldopa, sulfa drugs, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

This medicine also may interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • barbiturates, like phenobarbital
  • cholestyramine
  • colestipol
  • digoxin
  • diuretics
  • iron salts
  • lithium
  • medicines for anesthesia
  • medicines for blood pressure
  • medicines for diabetes
  • narcotic medicines used for pain
  • NSAIDS, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • medicines used to relax muscles during surgery
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be and when you should contact him or her.

You may need to be on a special diet while taking this medicine. Ask your doctor.

Check with your doctor if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine may make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Iron can stop the absorption of this medicine. Do not take this medicine with iron preparations or multiple vitamins containing iron. If you have to take iron, make sure that you take this medicine 2 hours before or 6 hours after the iron.

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Last Updated: August 12, 2011
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