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All about: Labetalol

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Generic Name: Labetalol Injection (la-BET-ah-lole)
Brand Name: Trandate

Labetalol is used for:

Treating high blood pressure. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines, such as diuretics. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Labetalol is an adrenergic receptor blocker. It works by blocking both alpha and beta receptors in the body, which results in the lowering of blood pressure.

Do NOT use Labetalol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Labetalol
  • you have second- or third-degree heart block, moderate to severe first-degree heart block after a heart attack, heart failure, abnormal heart function test (eg, electrocardiogram [ECG]), or shock due to serious heart problems
  • you have asthma, obstructive airway disease, or other breathing disorders
  • you have severe slow heartbeat or severe low blood pressure

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Labetalol :

Some medical conditions may interact with Labetalol . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have diabetes, an adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma), lung or breathing problems (eg, bronchitis, emphysema), kidney problems, liver problems, or thyroid problems
  • if you have heart problems (eg, slow heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, sick sinus syndrome), low blood pressure, or a history of heart failure, or you have had recent heart attack
  • if you are scheduled to have or have recently had major surgery

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Labetalol . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Calcium channel blockers (eg, verapamil) or cimetidine because they may increase the risk of Labetalol 's side effects
  • General anesthetics (eg, halothane) or nitroglycerin because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Labetalol
  • Beta-agonists (eg, albuterol) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Labetalol

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Labetalol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Labetalol :

Use Labetalol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Labetalol is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Labetalol at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Labetalol . Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Labetalol if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • Because severe dizziness may occur upon standing, remain lying down immediately after and for up to 3 hours after receiving your dose. Talk with your doctor about how to gradually become active after your dose.
  • If you miss a dose of Labetalol , use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Labetalol .

Important safety information:

  • Labetalol may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Labetalol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Labetalol may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Labetalol without first checking with your doctor. Suddenly stopping Labetalol may result in chest pain or temporary symptoms such as shaking, sweating, headache, irregular heartbeat, and general unwell feeling. If your doctor decides that you should stop taking Labetalol , your dosage should be reduced over a period of 1 to 2 weeks and you should be carefully monitored.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Labetalol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Labetalol may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using this medicine.
  • If your doctor has instructed you to check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly, be sure to do so.
  • Diabetes patients - Labetalol may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Diabetes patients - Labetalol may hide signs of low blood sugar, such as a rapid heartbeat. Be sure to watch for other signs of low blood sugar. Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your vision change; give you a headache, chills, or tremors; or make you more hungry. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • LAB TESTS, including kidney and liver function tests, may be performed while you use Labetalol . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Labetalol should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Labetalol while you are pregnant. Labetalol is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Labetalol , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Labetalol :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; indigestion; lightheadedness; nausea; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; stuffy nose; temporary tingling of the scalp; unusual tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; dark urine; decreased sexual ability; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; mental or mood changes; muscle pain or tenderness; persistent loss of appetite; right upper stomach pain; shortness of breath; slow heartbeat; swelling of the hands or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; vision changes; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include seizures; severe dizziness or weakness, especially upon standing; shortness of breath; slow heartbeat.

Proper storage of Labetalol :

Labetalol is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Labetalol at home, store Labetalol as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Labetalol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Labetalol , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Labetalol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Labetalol . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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