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Labetalol

Labetalol

Uses

Labetalol is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

This medication is both an alpha blocker and beta blocker. It works by blocking the action of certain natural chemicals in your body such as epinephrine on the heart and blood vessels. This effect lowers the heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on the heart.

Why is this medication prescribed?

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.

How should this medicine be used?

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.

What are the side effects of labetalol?

The most common side effects of labetalol are:

  • fatigue,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • headache,
  • diarrhea,
  • edema (fluid accumulation), and
  • shortness of breath.

Indication

For the management of hypertension (alone or in combination with other classes of antihypertensive agents), as well as chronic stable angina pectoris and sympathetic overactivity syndrome associated with severe tetanus. Labetalol is used parenterally for immediate reduction in blood pressure in severe hypertension or in hypertensive crises when considered an emergency, for the control of blood pressure in patients with pheochromocytoma and pregnant women with preeclampsia, and to produce controlled hypotension during anesthesia to reduce bleeding resulting from surgical procedures.

Contraindications

Labetalol HCl injection is contraindicated in bronchial asthma, overt cardiac failure, greater-than-first-degree heart block, cardiogenic shock, severe bradycardia, other conditions associated with severe and prolonged hypotension, and in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to any component of the product

Beta-blockers, even those with apparent cardioselectivity, should not be used in patients with a history of obstructive airway disease, including asthma.

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