|Type of medicine||Vasodilator antihypertensive|
|Used for||High blood pressure
Hydralazine works by relaxing and widening the blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure. It may be used alone or alongside other medicines to reduce high blood pressure.
Hydralazine is also used alongside other medicines to treat heart failure (a condition where the pumping action of the heart is reduced).
Before taking hydralazine
Before taking hydralazine make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have kidney or liver problems.
- If you suffer from a condition called systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory condition also called lupus or SLE).
- If you have coronary artery disease (a disorder of the blood vessels to the heart).
- If you have cerebrovascular disease (a disorder of the blood vessels to the brain).
- If you know you have heart disease caused by an overactive thyroid or by high blood pressure in the lungs.
- If you have any other heart problem.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you suffer from porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take hydralazine
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take hydralazine exactly as directed by your doctor.
- Try to take hydralazine at the same times each day to avoid missing doses.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Do not stop taking hydralazine without consulting your doctor first.
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be checked.
- If you are having any treatment like an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking hydralazine.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Can hydralazine cause problems
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling sick, vomiting, diarrhoea||Eat little and often and stick to simple foods. Drink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues, let your doctor know|
|Dizziness||Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before driving, operating machinery, or doing other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert|
|Fast or fluttering heartbeat, and flushing||If these symptoms continue, speak with your doctor or pharmacist|
Important: If you experience loss of weight, arthritis or any other unexplained ill health, speak with your doctor as soon as possible.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store hydralazine
- Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Hydralazine tablet 25 mg, Actavis UK Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 21/10/2010||Document ID: 615 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.