Examples of Antiadrenergic Agents, Centrally Acting
Methyldopa, methyldopate (Aldomet)
What Do They Do in the Body? Methyldopa and methyldopate lower blood pressure, probably by reducing levels of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine and possibly by lowering renin, a substance released by the kidneys in response to low blood pressure.
What Are They Prescribed For? High blood pressure.
What Are the Possible Side Effects? Liver disease is a direct contraindication to taking methyldopa. This drug carries a high risk of damaging the liver and of causing blood disorders, including anemia, and can cause a syndrome of symptoms that resembles lupus. Other side effects include sedation or drowsiness (which may impair coordination and the ability to think clearly), fatigue, depression, fever, headache, dizziness, weakness, abnormally slow heartbeat, nausea, rash, breast enlargement in men and women, impotence, and decreased libido. As with all antihypertensive drugs, it carries the risk of abnormally low blood pressure.
Think Twice About Taking These Drugs If . . .
Please think twice about taking these drugs, period. Many other newer drugs can do the same job without the high risk. Antiadrenergic agents have too many potent and negative effects on too many important bodily systems. If you have any type of liver disease, don’t take them.
What Are the Interactions with Food? Methyldopa levels will be decreased if taken with food, especially protein. Eating too much salt while taking methyldopa could increase fluid retention and cause edema or water retention.
What Nutrients Do They Throw out of Balance or Interact With? Methyldopa decreases vitamin B12 levels and probably decreases folic acid levels as well.
What Else to Take While Taking These Drugs. Preferably, intravenous vitamin B12 and folic acid, but these drugs can cause sensitivity reactions so even that may be risky. At the very least, take sublingual vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements. Be aware that the folic acid may hide evidence of anemia, a side effect of the drugs.
Other Tips on These Drugs. They affect many blood and urine tests.
Prescription Alternatives: Hundreds of Free, Natural, Prescription-Free Remedies to Restore & Maintain Your Health, by Earl L. Mindell, R.Ph, Ph. D, & Virginia Hopkins, M.A. Published by McGraw-Hill.