Droxidopa is used to treat symptoms (dizziness, lightheadedness, or a fainting sensation [feeling that you are about to black out]) of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (a sudden fall in blood pressure that occurs when a person assumes a standing position caused by certain nervous system conditions). Droxidopa is in a class of medications called alpha and beta-adrenergic agonists. It works by increasing the levels of norepinephrine, a natural substance in the body.
Side Effects Of Droxidopa
Droxidopa may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- high fever
- muscle stiffness
- unusual movements that you cannot control
- changes in awareness, thinking, or behavior
Droxidopa may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking droxidopa:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to droxidopa, aspirin, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and medications), other medications, or any of the ingredients in the capsule. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: carbidopa (Lodosyn, in Parcopa, in Sinemet, in Stalevo); ephedrine; medications for mental illness or nausea; medications for migraines such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), and sumatriptan (Imitrex) and zolmitriptan (Zomig); and midodrine (Orvaten). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, coronary artery disease (blockage or narrowing of the blood vessels that lead to the heart), irregular heartbeat, heart failure, or heart or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking droxidopa, call your doctor.
Dosage Of Droxidopa
Droxidopa comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken three times a day (morning, midday, and late afternoon). Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take droxidopa exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the capsules whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of droxidopa and gradually increase your dose every 1 to 2 days.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.