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Methyldopa - Indications, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

Written & Compiled by Anushta Chandrapalan, M.Sc  | Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team
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Information about Methyldopa

Generic Name : Methyldopa
Pronunciation : meth ill doe' pa
Latest prescription information about Methyldopa. Learn how to pronounce the drug's name, its indications, dosage, how to take, when to take, when not to take, side effects, special precautions, warnings and its storage instructions . Also listed are the International and Indian trade name(s) of the drug and its price list.
ICD Code : Y51.8 | Therapeutic Classification : Anti- Adrenergic Blockers - Centrally Acting

Trade Names/Brand Names of Methyldopa

India : 

International : 

Aldochlor 250, Aldoril

Why is Methyldopa Prescribed? (Indications)

This medication is an alpha-2 receptor agonist, prescribed for hypertension.  It reduces elevated blood pressure by dilating blood vessels.


When should Methyldopa not be taken? (Contraindications)

Contraindicated in patients with liver disease, on therapy with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, and hypersensitivity.

What is the dosage of Methyldopa?

Adult- The usual initial dose is 250 mg two or three times a day in the first 48 hours. Maintenance: 500mg to gm in divided doses.
Child- Initial dosage is based on 10 mg/kg of body weight daily in two to four doses.

How should Methyldopa be taken?

It comes as a tablet and liquid to take by mouth, with or without food.

What are the warnings and precautions for Methyldopa?

• Caution should be exercised in patients with history of anemia, liver, kidney disease, tumor in adrenal glands, any allergy, who are taking other medications, elderly, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

• It may cause drowsiness or dizziness, do not drive a car or operate machinery while taking this medication.

• Avoid alcohol consumption.

• It should not be used in children.

What are the side effects of Methyldopa?

   Heart : Aggravation of chest pain, heart failure, sinus hypersensitivity, low blood pressure, swelling or weight gain and slow heart rate.
   Gastrointestinal : Inflammation of intestine/pancreas/ mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, sore or "black" tongue, nausea, constipation, distension, flatulence and dryness of mouth.
   Blood : Bone marrow depression.
   Liver : Liver inflammation, jaundice and abnormal liver function.
   Hypersensitivity : Inflammation of heart muscle, blood vessels, lupus-like syndrome, drug-related fever and eosinophilia.
   Central Nervous System : Parkinson’s disease, Bell's palsy, decreased mental acuity, involuntary movements, mild psychoses or depression, headache, sleepiness, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness and tingling.
   Metabolic : Rise in Blood Urea Nitrogen.
   Musculoskeletal : Joint pain/swelling and muscle pain.
   Respiratory : Nose stuffiness.
   Skin : Skin damage and rash.
   Genitourinary : Absence of menstrual periods, breast enlargement in male, spontaneous secretion of milk, impotence and decreased libido.

What are the other precautions for Methyldopa?

Avoid excess dosage.

What are the storage conditions for Methyldopa?

Store it in a well-closed container at controlled room temperature (15-30°C).

Learn more about Methyldopa's interaction with Food, Herbs and Alcohol

Methyldopa : Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Methyldopa safe to use in patients with liver disease?

A: Methyldopa can cause serious liver damage on rare occasions. In some patients, this can be life-threatening. It is better to avoid methyldopa in patients with liver disease (1 Trusted Source

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Q: Is Methyldopa safe to use during pregnancy?

A: Methyldopa is used to treat high blood pressure in pregnancy. This drug can prevent complications caused by high blood pressure in pregnancy and a related condition called pre-eclampsia (2 Trusted Source
Methyldopa versus no drug treatment in the management of mild pre-eclampsia

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Q: Does Methyldopa cause weight gain?

A: Methyldopa can cause swelling or weight gain, which can be dangerous in patients with heart failure. Consult a physician immediately if you experience weight gain while taking this medication (3 Trusted Source

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Q: Does Methyldopa affect heart rate?

A: Methyldopa reduced the mean arterial pressure and peripheral resistance without significantly affecting heart rate or cardiac output (4 Trusted Source
Methyldopa and neural control of circulation in essential hypertension

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Q: Does Methyldopa cause depression?

A: Methyldopa causes depression by decreasing dopamine levels, and dopamine is a major neurotransmitter in the reward system (5 Trusted Source
Methyldopa as an inductor of postpartum depression and maternal blues: A review

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  • 1. Methyldopa - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548173/ )
  • 2. Methyldopa versus no drug treatment in the management of mild pre-eclampsia - (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12625668/ )
  • 3. Methyldopa - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551671/ )
  • 4. Methyldopa and neural control of circulation in essential hypertension - (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0002914980904841 )
  • 5. Methyldopa as an inductor of postpartum depression and maternal blues: A review - (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332220303887 )
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