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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Reserpine

Why is this medication prescribed?

Reserpine is used to treat high blood pressure. It works by decreasing your heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body. It also is used to treat severe agitation in patients with mental disorders.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Reserpine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once daily. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take reserpine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Reserpine controls high blood pressure or symptoms of agitation, but does not cure them. Continue to take reserpine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking reserpine without talking to your doctor. Abruptly stopping reserpine may increase blood pressure and cause unwanted side effects.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking reserpine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to reserpine, aspirin, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and medications), or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), digoxin (Lanoxin), doxepin (Adepin, Sinequan), ephedrine, epinephrine, imipramine (Tofranil), MAO inhibitors [phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate)], methylphenidate (Ritalin), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), phenylephrine, protriptyline (Vivactil), quinidine (Quinaglute), trimipramine (Surmontil), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease, gallstones, ulcers, ulcerative colitis, a history of depression, or electric shock therapy.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking reserpine, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking reserpine.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how it affects you.
  • ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while you are taking reserpine. Alcohol can make the side effects from reserpine worse.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Your doctor may prescribe a low-salt or low-sodium diet. Follow these directions carefully.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Do not take the missed dose when you remember it; skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from reserpine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • stuffy nose
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • decreased sexual ability

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • depression
  • nightmares
  • fainting
  • slow heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • swollen ankles or feet

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to reserpine.

Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate) daily and will tell you how rapid it should be. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is slower than it should be, call your doctor before taking reserpine that day.

Weigh yourself every day. Call your doctor if you experience rapid weight gain.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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