- Generic Name: Labetalol [lah-BET-uh-lawl]
- Brand Name: Trandate, Normodyne
- Dosage Form: Oral tablet (100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg), injection (5 mg/mL)
- Drug Class: Nonselective beta-blockers with alpha-blocking activity
What is Labetalol?
Labetalol is a medication belonging to the class of nonselective beta-blockers with alpha-blocking activity. It is primarily used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and manage certain heart conditions.
Labetalol works by blocking the effects of certain natural substances in the body, such as adrenaline, on the heart and blood vessels. This helps to lower blood pressure, reduce the workload on the heart, and improve blood flow.
- Before taking Labetalol, inform your doctor if you have any allergies, especially to beta-blockers or any of the inactive ingredients present in the medication.
- Labetalol may cause dizziness or lightheadedness. Avoid driving or engaging in activities that require alertness until you know how this medication affects you.
- Do not stop taking Labetalol suddenly without consulting your doctor, as this can lead to a sudden increase in blood pressure or other complications.
- Inform your doctor about all your current medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements, to prevent potential drug interactions.
- Labetalol can mask the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), particularly in individuals with diabetes. It is important to closely monitor blood sugar levels while taking this medication.
Before Taking Labetalol
- Inform your doctor about your medical history, especially if you have any heart problems, liver disease, kidney disease, asthma, bronchitis, or other breathing disorders.
- Labetalol may pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding while using this medication.
- Labetalol may affect blood flow to the placenta, potentially causing harm to an unborn baby. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
How to Take Labetalol
- Follow the instructions provided by your doctor regarding the dosage and administration of Labetalol. Do not alter the dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
- Labetalol is usually taken orally, with or without food, one to three times a day. The dosage may vary based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
- Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet.
- If you are receiving Labetalol through an injection, it will be administered by a healthcare professional in a clinical setting.
Labetalol Side Effects
- Common side effects of Labetalol may include dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, nausea, stomach upset, and nasal stuffiness. These side effects are generally mild and may diminish over time as your body adjusts to the medication.
- Serious side effects may occur in rare cases. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Severe dizziness or fainting
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
- Mental/mood changes, such as depression or confusion
- It may take several weeks for Labetalol to effectively control your blood pressure. Continue taking the medication as prescribed, even if you feel well.
- Labetalol is not a cure for high blood pressure or heart conditions but helps manage them. It is important to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes, such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, and smoking cessation, to optimize the effectiveness of the medication.
- If you miss a dose of Labetalol, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one.
- Store Labetalol at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
- In case of an overdose, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center. Overdose symptoms may include slow heart rate, severe dizziness or fainting, difficulty breathing, and seizures.
- Inform all healthcare professionals involved in your care, including dentists and surgeons, that you are taking Labetalol. This medication may interact with certain anesthesia drugs and other medications used during medical procedures.
- Inform your doctor if you experience any new or unusual symptoms while taking Labetalol, as they may indicate a potential need for adjustment in your treatment plan.