Methyl dopa is a centrally-acting antihypertensive drug that is gradually declining in usage. It inhibits decarboxylation of dopa to dopamine. Therapy is associated with reduced concentrations of dopamine, 5 - hydroxytryptamine and noradrenaline in peripheral tissues and the CNS. This drug is associated with a reduction in renin levels.
Indications for the use of methyl dopa include:
- hypertension, in conjunction with a diuretic
- hypertensive crisis when an immediate effect is not necessary
- history of depression
- active liver disease
- increases the CNS toxicity of lithium