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.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
How To Use
See also Warning section. Take this medication by mouth, usually twice a day or as directed by your doctor. You may take this medication with or without food, but it is important to choose one way and take this medication the same way with every dose. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
See also Precautions section. Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: cimetidine. Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products, diet aids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-NSAIDs such as ibuprofen for pain/fever reduction) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure or heart rate. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely. If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. This medication may interfere with certain medical/laboratory tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug. This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-800-854-1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Do not share this medication with others. Talk with your doctor about making changes to your lifestyle that may help this medication work better (such as stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes). Have your blood pressure and pulse (heart rate) checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to check your own blood pressure and pulse at home, and share the results with your doctor. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, severe weakness, fainting, trouble breathing.
Before taking labetalol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain types of heart rhythm problems (such as a slow heartbeat, second- or third-degree atrioventricular block), severe heart failure, breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: treated stable heart failure, kidney disease, liver disease, overactive thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism), serious allergic reactions including those needing treatment with epinephrine, blood circulation problems (such as Raynaud's disease, peripheral vascular disease), mental/mood disorders (such as depression), a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis). If you have diabetes, this product may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of a low blood sugar level, such as dizziness and sweating, are unaffected by this drug. This product may also make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your diabetes medication or diet may need to be adjusted. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, including dizziness and lightheadedness. Labetalol has been used to treat high blood pressure in pregnant women. It is important to control high blood pressure for the health of the mother and unborn baby. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy. Rarely, babies born to mothers who took labetalol during pregnancy may have symptoms of low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, slow breathing, and low blood sugar (such as shaking, unusual sweating) for a few days after delivery. Tell the doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn. This medication passes into breast milk, and the effect on a nursing infant is unknown. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store between 36-86 degrees F (2-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
See also Warning and Precautions sections. Dizziness and tiredness may occur. Scalp tingling may also occur as your body adjusts to the medication. Decreased sexual ability has been reported infrequently. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To lower your risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. This drug may reduce blood flow to your hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Smoking may worsen this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, blue fingers/toes, trouble breathing, new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as swelling ankles/feet, severe tiredness, shortness of breath, unexplained/sudden weight gain), mental/mood changes (such as confusion, mood swings, depression). This drug may rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) liver disease. If you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects, seek immediate medical attention: persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when you suddenly stop this drug. Some people who have suddenly stopped taking similar drugs have had chest pain, heart attack, and irregular heartbeat. If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, he or she may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks. When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop chest pain/tightness/pressure, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, or fast/irregular heartbeat.
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
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