The most commonly encountered side effects of a-methyldopa are sedation and drowsiness. These CNS effects are probably the result of reductions in brain cat-echolamine levels. Other side effects, also typical of sympathetic depression, are dry mouth, nasal congestion, orthostatic hypertension, and impotence.
Autoimmune reactions associated with a-methyl-dopa treatment include thrombocytopenia and leukopenia. Since a few cases of an a-methyldopa-induced hepatitis have occurred, the drug is contraindicated in patients with active hepatic disease. Flulike symptoms also are known to occur.
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