Is Methyldopa safe for an elderly patient?
Walgreens carries this medication. For a 30 days supply it would be roughly $15; for a 90 days supply it would be $30 for the generic drug.
But before considering this medication, please know that it is considered a high-risk medication in people over 65 years old.
It can cause severe side effects and withdrawal (rebound) side effects. Please see below.
Geriatric Patients: High-Risk Medication:
Beers Criteria: Methyldopa is identified in the Beers Criteria as a potentially inappropriate medication to be avoided in patients 65 years and older (independent of diagnosis or condition).
This is due to a high risk of central nervous system adverse effects and risk of bradycardia (slow heart rate) and orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure dropping too much when a person stands up) associated with central alpha-blockers.
Not recommended as routine treatment for hypertension (Beers Criteria [AGS 2015]).
Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA): Methyldopa is identified as a high-risk medication in patients 65 years and older on the PQA’s (PQA).
Use of High-Risk Medications in the Elderly (HRM) performance measure, a safety measure used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for Medicare plans.
Hope I have answered your query.
Dr Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, General & Family Physician