The active ingredient in medications such as Aldomet and Amodopa, methyldopa is a substance that treats hypertension (more commonly known as high blood pressure). Methyldopa accomplishes this by controlling impulses along certain nerve pathways, relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body, reducing blood pressure.
Methyldopa is a white to yellowish white, odorless fine powder, and its chemical name is levo-3-(3,4- dihydroxyphenyl)-2-methylalanine sesquihydrate.
Possible side effects of methyldopa include:
Less common side effects include:
Things to watch out for while on methyldopa:
- Iron (Has been found to reduce the effectiveness of methyldopa, take methyldopa 2 hours after ingesting iron.)
- Sodium (Reduces the effect of methyldopa due to sodium's ability to make the human body retain fluid, people taking methyldopa should limit their sodium intake.)
- Vitamin B12 (Methyldopa can decrease vitamin B12 levels, thus increasing the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.)
- MAOI's (Drugs that contain MAOI's can cause additional side effects such as nervousness, headache, severe high blood pressure, and hallucinations)
- Lithium (Risk of lithium overdose, even at usual doses, may be increased while on methyldopa.)
- Angina (Methyldopa may worsen this condition.)
- Liver disease (The effects of methyldopa can increase if the liver has been damaged.)