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General Information
What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any
Serpasil (Novartis India) 
Reserpine is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner. 
Reserpine pronounced as: re-SER-peen 
Reserpine is a centrally acting anti hypertensive drug. 
Reserpine is used mainly in the treatment of hypertension and sometimes in the treatment of psychoses like schizophrenia.
  • Take Reserpine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer duration than recommended by your doctor. Take Reserpine with a full glass of water.
  • Do not skip doses or stop taking Reserpine without consulting your doctor as it may worsen the side effects.
  • Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like,
    1. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors like Isocarboxazid, phenelzine ( anti depressants)
    2. tricyclic antidepressant such as Amitriptyline, Imipramine doxepin ,nortriptyline
    3. Digoxin
    4. Quinidine (antiarrythmic drug)
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical diseases , as Reserpine should be used cautiously in these conditions
    1. Peptic ulcer disease or ulcerative colitis
    2. Severe depression
    3. On Electroconvulsive therapy/ shock therapy
    4. Gall stones
Do not take the reserpine if you are suffering from following conditions
  • History of depression with suicidal thoughts
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Peptic ulcer

Old people: Use cautiously in older people.

Pregnant woman: Reserpine belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that reserpine may harm an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but potential benefit may warrant use of the drug in pregnant woman despite potential risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
Lactating women: It is not known whether reserpine passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take reserpine with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
Reserpine causes depression, mood changes, decreases sexual ability. This may continue even for several months after stopping Reserpine. Consult your doctor regularly to help you cope with side effects. 
Reserpine is available in the form of tablet. 
Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication. 
If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose. 
In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.
The overdose symptoms of Reserpine are
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Redness in eyes
  • Flushing 
  • Increases drowsiness 
  • Slow breathing
  • Slow pulse
Reserpine may cause following side effects
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Drowsiness 
  • Headache 
  • Bleeding from the nose
Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.
  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes. Peeling of skin etc
  • Weight gain
  • Decrease in sexual interest or ability
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety, nervousness , mood changes
  • Irregular heartbeat, chest pain 
  • Visual disturbances
Store reserpine at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.
  • Reserpine causes giddiness when getting up from sitting or lying down position. Avoid activities like driving handling heavy machinery etc which require you to be alert.
  • Avoid getting over heated as in hot weather or doing rigorous exercise as the risk of heat stroke is more when on Reserpine medication.
  • Inform your surgeon or dentist prior to any planned procedure regarding Reserpine medication as it may increase the side effects of anaesthetic drugs.
  • Visit your doctor regularly for monitoring your blood pressure and pulse rate when taking Reserpine.
  • Hypertension often has no symptoms, so you may not even feel that you have high blood pressure. Continue using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise, healthy diet, quit smoking, alcohol to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.
It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information. 
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date: Mar28th,09 

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