Medicine & USMLE


Maternity Drugs
  1. Methyldopa
  2. Oral Contraceptive Pills


Methyldopa is a medication used during pregnancy to lower blood pressure. It can be used to treat eclampsia and preeclampsia. Potential side effects include the “3 D’s”: drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth.

Key Points

  • Methyldopa (Aldomet)
    • Mechanism
      • Alpha-2 adrenergic agonist
        • Stimulates alpha-adrenergic receptors, leading to a decreased blood pressure
        • Same drug class as clonidine, and has several of the same side effects
    • Clinical Use
      • Hypertension
        • Used to treat hypertension during pregnancy and gestational hypertension
      • Preeclampsia
        • First line therapy for mild preeclampsia
        • Preeclampsia is severely high blood pressure that occurs after week 20 in pregnancy in women who otherwise have normal blood pressure. It can be life threatening if not managed.
    • Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
      • Dizziness
      • Drowsiness
      • Dry mouth
      • Peripheral edema
      • Anxiety
      • Depression
      • Headache
      • Fever