Labetalol is used to treat high blood pressure. Labetalol is in a class of medications called beta-blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
Side Effects Of Labetalol
Labetalol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- tingling scalp or skin
- excessive tiredness
- upset stomach
- stuffy nose
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking labetalol:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to labetalol, any other medications, or any ingredients in labetalol tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: medications for high blood pressure or heart disease; cimetidine; nitroglycerin; and medications for asthma, headaches, allergies, colds, or pain.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver disease; asthma or other lung diseases; severe allergies; diabetes; or pheochromocytoma (a tumor that develops on a gland near the kidneys and may cause high blood pressure and fast heartbeat).
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking labetalol, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking labetalol.
- you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
Dosage Of Labetalol
Labetalol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken two or three times a day. To help you remember to take labetalol, take it around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take labetalol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Labetalol controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take labetalol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking labetalol without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking labetalol, you may experience serious heart problems such as angina (chest pain) or heart attack.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to labetalol. Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate). Ask your pharmacist or doctor to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is faster or slower than it should be, call your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.