Hydralazine is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. Hydralazine is called a vasodilator. It works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow through the body more easily.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Hydralazine may also be used with other medications to treat heart failure.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 2 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may start you at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. It may take up to several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens (for example, your routine blood pressure readings increase).
Headache, pounding/fast heartbeat, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dizziness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
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.
This medication may infrequently cause nerve problems. Tell your doctor promptly if you experience numbness or tingling. Your doctor may recommend a vitamin B6 supplement (pyridoxine).
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: severe tiredness, aching/swollen joints, rash on nose and cheeks, swollen glands, change in the amount of urine, bloody/pink urine, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding.
Seek immediate medical attention if this rare but serious side effect occurs: chest/jaw/left arm pain.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking hydralazine, 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: a certain heart condition (coronary artery disease), a certain heart valve problem (rheumatic heart disease of the mitral valve).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit 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 medication, especially dizziness, which can increase the risk of falls.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
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.
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).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure/heart rate or worsen your heart failure. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
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.
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 dizziness, fainting, flushing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, irregular heartbeat.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes may help this medication work better. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure, and share the readings with your doctor.
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.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 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 December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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