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  • Generic Name: (reserpine)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 01/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Reserpine is a medicine used to treat high blood pressure. Reserpine is also used to relieve symptoms of agitation in people with mental disorders (such as schizophrenia).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Reserpine works by slowing the activity of the nervous system, causing the heartbeat to slow and the blood vessels to relax.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: By lowering your blood pressure, reserpine may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider’s directions. It is important that you take reserpine exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may notice an improvement in your symptoms once you start treatment with reserpine. This is a good indicator that your medicine is working.

      Your healthcare provider may also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fainting, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, headache, weight gain, increased pressure in your eye, rash.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Mental depression, with symptoms such as loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, or an inability to achieve and maintain an erection.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take reserpine if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take reserpine if you have depression or a history of depression (especially with suicidal thoughts or behaviors).

      Do not take reserpine if you have an ulcer in your stomach or intestines, or ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory disease of the large intestine).

      Do not take reserpine if you are receiving electric shock therapy.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with reserpine. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney problems; a history of ulcers, ulcerative colitis, gallstones, or depression; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      High Blood Pressure

      Adults: The usual starting dose is 0.5 milligrams (mg) a day, for 1 or 2 weeks.

      Mental Disorders

      Adults: The usual starting dose is 0.5 mg a day.

      Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take reserpine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not change your dose or stop taking reserpine without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If reserpine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining reserpine with the following: amphetamine, certain antidepressants (such as phenelzine or amitriptyline), digoxin, phenylephrine, or quinidine.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of reserpine during pregnancy are unknown. Reserpine can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking reserpine. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of reserpine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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