metyrosine 250 mg capsule

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Medication name

Generic name:
Metyrosine - oral

Pronunciation
(me-TYE-roe-seen)

Brand name(s)
Demser

Uses

This medication is used to treat high blood pressure in people with a certain adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma). Metyrosine is used to prevent high blood pressure before and immediately after surgery to remove the tumor. It is also used long-term in people who cannot have the surgery. It is not used for other kinds of high blood pressure.

Metyrosine prevents the tumor from making certain natural substances (catecholamines) that raise the blood pressure and make the heart beat faster. Lowering the amount of catecholamines lessens the risk of a very serious attack of high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis).

How to use

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 4 times a day. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Your doctor may direct you to start taking this drug at a low dose and slowly increase your dose until you are taking the best dose for you. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and order lab tests (such as urine tests for catecholamines) to find the best dose.

During treatment with this medication, it is important that you get plenty of fluids and pass urine often to help avoid kidney and bladder side effects. Ask your doctor how much fluid you should drink and how often you should urinate each day, and follow these 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. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. You may have trouble sleeping (insomnia) for 2 to 3 days after you stop taking this medication. Tell your doctor if these symptoms last or get worse or if you have other symptoms of very high blood pressure (such as headache, nausea, sweating, fast heartbeat).

This medication is usually taken for at least 5 to 7 days before surgery.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse (for example, your blood pressure readings remain high or increase, you have headache, nausea, sweating, fast heartbeat).

Side effects

Drowsiness, tiredness, dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, and diarrhea may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • difficulty speaking
  • drooling
  • unwanted/uncontrolled movements
  • muscle stiffness
  • shaking (tremor)
  • decrease in sexual ability
  • tenderness/swelling of the breast
  • mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression, severe anxiety)
  • signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, painful urination, pink/bloody urine)

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

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 metyrosine, 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.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • dehydration

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Alcohol may also cause you to become dehydrated.

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

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Drug interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug are:

  • anti-psychotic medication (such as haloperidol, thiothixene)
  • certain drugs (phenothiazines) used to treat mental/mood conditions or nausea (such as chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine)

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, EKG, urine catecholamine tests) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

Have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure 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. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications 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.

Important note

HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Information last revised March 2024.

Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.

The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.