reserpine (generic name)

It is used to treat high blood pressure
(re SER peen)
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What is this medicine?

RESERPINE (re SER peen) is an antihypertensive. 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:
  • history of depression
  • gallstones
  • kidney disease
  • receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • seizure disorder
  • stomach ulcer
  • ulcerative colitis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to reserpine, tartrazine dye, corn starch, lactose, 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 your medicine 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.

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:
  • levodopa
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • procarbazine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • digoxin
  • medicines for blood pressure
  • medicines for breathing problems like isoproterenol
  • medicines for colds, congestion
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • quinidine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

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

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.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • change in sex drive or performance
  • changes in vision
  • confusion, excitability, nervousness
  • depression
  • feeling faint, lightheaded
  • hearing problems
  • irregular heartbeat, chest pain
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • swelling of hands, feet
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusually tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • bad dreams
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stuffy nose
  • swollen breasts

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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.

Last Updated: August 17, 2009
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