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All about: Penbutolol

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Generic Name: Penbutolol (pen-BYOO-toe-lole)
Brand Name: Levatol

If you have angina or have had heart problems, DO NOT suddenly stop taking Penbutolol without first consulting with your doctor. Severe chest pain, heart attack, very fast heart rate, and irregular heart rhythm may occur. If your doctor decides you should no longer take Penbutolol , the dosage should be gradually reduced according to your doctor's instructions. You should be closely watched by your doctor and limit physical activity to a minimum, particularly if you have certain kinds of heart disease. Some medicines or medical conditions may interact with Penbutolol .


Penbutolol is used for:

Treating mild to moderate high blood pressure. It may be used along or with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Penbutolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking agent. It works by slowing down the heart and reducing blood pressure, which helps it pump more efficiently and reduces the workload on the heart. It may also interfere with the action of adrenalin and other similar chemicals in the brain.

Do NOT use Penbutolol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Penbutolol
  • you have a very slow heartbeat, heart block, uncontrolled heart failure, or shock caused by heart failure, or you have had a heart attack and have very low blood pressure
  • you have asthma or Raynaud phenomenon
  • you are a child with diabetes or heart failure
  • you are currently taking mibefradil

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

Before using Penbutolol :

Some medical conditions may interact with Penbutolol . 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 (eg, medicines to treat colds or congestion), herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances or are taking medicine for allergies
  • if you have or have ever had an adrenal gland tumor; anaphylaxis; asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], emphysema, or other lung disease; congestive heart failure; blood vessel problems; a slow heartbeat; diabetes; kidney problems; low blood sugar; or an overactive thyroid
  • if you have Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
  • if you are having surgery

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

  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, flecainide, quinidine), antipsychotics (eg, chlorpromazine, haloperidol), bupivacaine, calcium channel blockers (eg, mibefradil, nifedipine, verapamil), catecholamine-depleting agents (eg, reserpine), cimetidine, ketanserin, mefloquine, or thioamines (eg, tapazole) because potentially life-threatening heart-related side effects may occur, including very slow heart rate; abnormal heartbeat; lightheadedness, especially upon standing; difficulty breathing, especially when lying down; loss of function in the heart and lungs; and swelling of ankles
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), clonidine, phenytoin, rifampin, or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine) because the effectiveness of Penbutolol may be decreased
  • Certain stimulants (adrenalin, pseudoephedrine), hydralazine, insulin, lidocaine, quinazolines (eg, doxazosin), rizatriptan, or theophylline because actions and side effects may be increased by Penbutolol

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Penbutolol 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 Penbutolol :

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

  • Penbutolol may be taken with or without food.
  • Do not take antacids containing aluminum within 2 hours of Penbutolol .
  • Take Penbutolol at the same time each day.
  • Continue to use Penbutolol even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Penbutolol , take 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 take 2 doses at once.

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

Important safety information:

  • Penbutolol may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Penbutolol . Using Penbutolol alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Penbutolol may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Penbutolol without first checking with your doctor.
  • Patients being treated for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after beginning therapy. Continue taking your medication even though you may not feel quite "normal." Contact your doctor or pharmacist about any new symptoms.
  • Penbutolol may mask the signs of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). If thyroid patients stop taking these medicines too suddenly, symptoms of hyperthyroidism (eg, a rapid pulse) may occur.
  • Patients with a history of severe allergic reactions may be more sensitive to allergens while taking Penbutolol . These patients may not respond to the usual dose of epinephrine (adrenalin).
  • Penbutolol may interfere with the glaucoma screening test.
  • Diabetes patients - Penbutolol may mask signs of low blood sugar such as a rapid heartbeat. Other symptoms, such as sweating, may still occur. Penbutolol may affect blood sugar levels. Your doctor may need to change the dose of diabetes medicine you take. Check blood glucose levels regularly.
  • Before having any surgical or dental procedures or receiving emergency treatment, tell the doctor or dentist in charge that you are receiving Penbutolol .
  • LAB TESTS may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Penbutolol with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially slow heartbeat.
  • Use Penbutolol with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Penbutolol during pregnancy. It is unknown if Penbutolol is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Penbutolol , check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

If you suddenly stop taking Penbutolol , you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms, including worsening chest pain along with possible heart attack.

Possible side effects of Penbutolol :

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:

Constipation; depression; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; fatigue; hallucinations; lightheadedness; nausea; sleeplessness; stomach cramps; tiredness; vision problems; vivid dreams; vomiting; weakness.

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); shortness of breath; slow or irregular heartbeat.

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 difficulty breathing, especially when lying down; lightheadedness, especially upon standing; pale or blue skin; seizures (convulsions); shortness of breath; swelling of ankles; unconsciousness, possibly leading to lack of heartbeat or breathing; very slow heart rate; wheezing.

Proper storage of Penbutolol :

Store Penbutolol at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Penbutolol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Penbutolol , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Penbutolol 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 Penbutolol . 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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