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Drugs & Medications

Serpate

GENERIC NAME(S): RESERPINE

Uses

Reserpine is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. It works by decreasing certain substances in the body (such as norepinephrine). This causes the blood vessels to relax so that blood can flow more easily and also slows the heart rate. These effects help to lower blood pressure.

How to use Serpate

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 1 to 2 times daily or as directed by your doctor.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. The risk of serious side effects may be increased.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

It may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this medication. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your routine blood pressure readings remain high or increase).

Side Effects

Drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, slow heartbeat, and stuffy nose may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, black stools, fainting, severe dizziness, shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unexplained/sudden weight gain, enlarged breasts (in males), unusual breast discharge (in females).

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: very slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, unusual bleeding/bruising, unusual/uncontrolled movements (such as tremor), muscle stiffness.

This medication has caused depression. Depression may persist for several months after stopping the drug. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any signs of depression, including mental/mood changes (such as persistent/severe sadness, thoughts of suicide), trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, decreased sexual interest/ability.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking reserpine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: current or previous depression (especially with suicidal thoughts/attempts), current stomach/intestinal ulcer, a certain bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), current shock treatments (electroconvulsive therapy-ECT).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: history of stomach/intestinal ulcer, gallbladder disease (gallstones), liver disease.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

This drug should not be used with the following medication because a very serious interaction may occur: tetrabenazine.

If you are currently using the medication listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting reserpine.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine).

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness, including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products, diet aids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-NSAIDs such as ibuprofen for pain/fever reduction) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness or could increase your blood pressure or heart rate. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

This medication may interfere with certain urine laboratory tests (including 17-OHCS and 17-ketosteroids test), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, severe dizziness, small pupils, very slow heartbeat, slow/shallow breathing, seizures.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Talk with your doctor about making changes to your lifestyle that may help this medication work better (such as stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes).

Have your blood pressure and heart rate checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to check your own blood pressure and heart rate at home, and share the results with your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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