Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Aldomet)
Skeletal formula of methyldopa
Ball-and-stick model of the methyldopa molecule
Clinical data
Trade namesAldomet, Aldoril, Dopamet, others
Other namesL-α-Methyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine
License data
  • AU: A
Routes of
By mouth, intravenous
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailabilityapproximately 50%
Onset of action4 to 6 hrs[1]
Elimination half-life105 minutes
Duration of action10 to 48 hrs[1]
ExcretionKidney for metabolites
  • (S)-2-amino-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-methyl-propanoic acid
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard100.008.264 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass211.217 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • C[C@](N)(Cc1ccc(O)c(O)c1)C(=O)O
  • InChI=1S/C10H13NO4/c1-10(11,9(14)15)5-6-2-3-7(12)8(13)4-6/h2-4,12-13H,5,11H2,1H3,(H,14,15)/t10-/m0/s1 ☒N
 ☒NcheckY (what is this?)  (verify)

Methyldopa, sold under the brand name Aldomet among others, is a medication used for high blood pressure.[1] It is one of the preferred treatments for high blood pressure in pregnancy.[1] For other types of high blood pressure including very high blood pressure resulting in symptoms other medications are typically preferred.[1] It can be given by mouth or injection into a vein.[1] Onset of effects is around 5 hours and they last about a day.[1]

Common side effects include sleepiness.[1] More severe side effects include red blood cell breakdown, liver problems, and allergic reactions.[1] Methyldopa is in the alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonist family of medication. It works by stimulating the brain to decrease the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.[1]

Methyldopa was discovered in 1960.[2] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.[3]

Medical uses[edit]

Methyldopa is used in the clinical treatment of the following disorders:

Side effects[edit]

Methyldopa is capable of inducing a number of adverse side effects, which range from mild to severe. Nevertheless, they are generally mild when the dose is less than 1 gram per day.[5] Side effects may include:


Rebound hypertension via withdrawal on account of tolerance upon the abrupt discontinuation of methyldopa has been reported.[6]

Mechanism of action[edit]

The mechanism of action of methyldopa is not fully clear. Although it is a centrally acting sympathomimetic, it does not block reuptake or transporters. It may reduce the dopaminergic and serotonergic transmission in the peripheral nervous system and it indirectly affects norepinephrine (noradrenaline) synthesis. Methyldopa acts on alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, which are found on the pre synaptic nerve terminal.[1] This inhibits the synthesis of norepinephrine by inhibiting tyrosine hydroxylase.

The S-enantiomer of methyldopa is a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (LAAD), which converts L-DOPA into dopamine. L-DOPA can cross the blood brain barrier and thus methyldopa may have similar effects. LAAD converts it into alpha-methyldopamine, a false prescursor to norepinephrine, which in turn reduces synthesis of norepinephrine in the vesicles. Dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH) converts alpha-methyldopamine into alpha-methylnorepinephrine, which is an agonist of the presynaptic α2-adrenergic receptor causing inhibition of neurotransmitter release.


Maximum decrease in blood pressure occurs 4-6 hours after oral dosage. The half-life of methyldopa is 105 minutes.[7] Methyldopa exhibits variable absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. It is metabolized in the liver and intestines and is excreted in urine.


When methyldopa was first introduced, it was the mainstay of antihypertensive treatment, but its use has declined on account of relatively severe adverse side effects, with increased use of other safer and more tolerable agents such as alpha blockers, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Additionally, it has yet to be associated with reducing adverse cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction and stroke, or overall all-cause mortality reduction in clinical trials.[8] Nonetheless, one of methyldopa's still current indications is in the management of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), as it is relatively safe in pregnancy compared to many other antihypertensives which may affect the fetus.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Methyldopa". The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ Walker RS (2012). Trends and Changes in Drug Research and Development. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 109. ISBN 9789400926592. Archived from the original on 2016-09-14.
  3. ^ World Health Organization (2019). World Health Organization model list of essential medicines: 21st list 2019. Geneva: World Health Organization. hdl:10665/325771. WHO/MVP/EMP/IAU/2019.06. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
  4. ^ Malha L, Podymow T, August P (2018). "39 - Hypertension in Pregnancy". Hypertension: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease (3rd ed.). Elsevier. pp. 361–373. doi:10.1016/B978-0-323-42973-3.00039-1. ISBN 978-0-323-42973-3.
  5. ^ British National Formulary 56. September 2008. pp. 95–96. ISBN 978-0-85369-778-7.
  6. ^ Methyldopa (PIM 342) Archived 2008-03-13 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "DailyMed - METHYLDOPA tablet, film coated". dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2022-07-25.
  8. ^ Mah GT, Tejani AM, Musini VM (October 2009). "Methyldopa for primary hypertension". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009 (4): CD003893. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003893.pub3. PMC 7154320. PMID 19821316.

External links[edit]