Northera 300 mg capsule

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Medication name

Generic name:
Droxidopa - oral

Pronunciation
(DROX-i-DOE-pa)

Brand name(s)
Northera

Warning

This medication can increase your blood pressure when you are lying on your back (supine hypertension). Raising the head of the your bed lessens this risk. Your doctor will carefully monitor your blood pressure in this position before and during treatment, especially after a dosage increase. Your doctor may adjust or stop treatment with this medication if supine hypertension happens and cannot be managed by raising the head of your bed. If supine hypertension cannot be managed, it could lead to a stroke, heart attack, or even death. Talk with your doctor for details.

Uses

Droxidopa is used to treat symptoms of low blood pressure when standing, caused by a certain medical condition (neurogenic orthostatic hypotension-NOH). This medication can lessen symptoms of low blood pressure when standing (orthostatic hypotension), such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or the "feeling that you are about to black out." Droxidopa is used by people whose daily activities are severely affected by this condition, even after other treatments are used (such as support stockings, water bolus). It is thought to work by making the blood vessels become more narrow, which increases blood pressure.

How to use

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times a day (morning, midday, and late afternoon). Swallow the capsules whole. You may take this medication with or without food, but it is important to choose one way and take this medication the same way with every dose. This drug is taken during daytime hours, when people stand most often. It should not be taken after the evening meal or less than 3 hours before bedtime.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication 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.

Since it is unknown if this medication will work longer than 2 weeks, it should be continued only if symptoms continue to get better during treatment. Do not take this medication for longer than 2 weeks unless your doctor directs you to do so. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Side effects

See also Warning section.

Headache, nausea, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, 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 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 can increase your blood pressure, especially when you are lying down (supine hypertension). Monitor and share your blood pressure results with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of high blood pressure, such as pounding heartbeat, pounding sound in your ears, headache, or blurred vision.

This medication may rarely cause very serious symptoms that are like a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). These symptoms may be more likely to happen when your dose of this drug or other medications (such as levodopa) is changed. Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • muscle stiffness
  • severe confusion
  • sweating
  • fast/irregular heartbeat

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

See also Warning section.

Before taking droxidopa, 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:

  • heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, congestive heart failure, previous heart attack)
  • kidney disease

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

This medication increases your blood pressure. Raise the head of your bed to lessen the risk of high blood pressure that happens when lying down (supine hypertension).

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

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

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

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.

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.

Learn about other ways to help manage symptoms of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension-NOH, such as drinking plenty of fluids, taking salt supplements/table salt, or wearing an abdominal binder and leg stockings. Also, certain physical movements (such as toe-raise, leg-crossing, thigh contraction) can help make you be able to stay upright a longer time. Ask your doctor for more details.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure measured while standing/sitting/lying down) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

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 October 2018.

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.