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Levatol

Generic Name: penbutolol (pen-BUE-toe-lol)
Brand Name: Levatol

Do not suddenly stop taking Levatol. Sharp chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and sometimes heart attack may occur if you suddenly stop Levatol. The risk may be greater if you have certain types of heart disease. Your doctor should slowly lower your dose over several weeks if you need to stop taking it. This should be done even if you only take Levatol for high blood pressure. Heart disease is common and you may not know you have it. Limit physical activity while you are lowering your dose. If new or worsened chest pain or other heart problems occur, contact your doctor right away. You may need to start taking Levatol again.


Levatol is used for:

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

Levatol is a beta-blocker. It works by slowing down the heart and decreasing the amount of blood it pumps out. This decreases blood pressure, helps the heart pump more efficiently, and reduces the workload on the heart.

Do NOT use Levatol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Levatol
  • you have a very slow heartbeat, heart block, uncontrolled heart failure, or shock caused by severe heart problems
  • you have asthma
  • you are currently taking mibefradil

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

Before using Levatol:

Some medical conditions may interact with Levatol. 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 or have ever had an adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma); lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], emphysema); blood vessel problems; diabetes; kidney problems; low blood sugar; or an overactive thyroid
  • if you have low blood pressure or a history of heart problems (eg, heart attack, slow or irregular heartbeat, heart failure, chest pain or angina), blood circulation problems, or liver problems
  • if you will be having surgery

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

  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, flecainide), calcium channel blockers (eg, nifedipine, diltiazem, verapamil), catecholamine-depleting agents (eg, reserpine), digoxin, diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), fingolimod, mefloquine, mibefradil, or vasodilators (eg, hydralazine) because the risk of certain side effects may be increased (eg, very slow heart rate, very low blood pressure, fainting, severe dizziness, light-headedness)
  • Clonidine because stopping either it or Levatol suddenly can lead to a severe increase in blood pressure
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital) or indomethacin because they may decrease Levatol's effectiveness
  • Alfuzosin, insulin, nateglinide, prazosin, or repaglinide because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Levatol
  • Sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol) or theophyllines (eg, aminophylline) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Levatol
  • Epinephrine because its effectiveness may be decreased and the risk of its side effects may be increased

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

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

  • Levatol may be taken with or without food.
  • Take Levatol at the same time each day.
  • Continue to use Levatol even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Levatol, 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 Levatol.

Important safety information:

  • Levatol may cause dizziness or light-headedness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Levatol. Using Levatol alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Levatol may cause dizziness, light-headedness, 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, light-headedness, or weakness.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Levatol without first checking with your doctor. If your doctor decides you should no longer use Levatol, you will need to stop Levatol gradually according to your doctor's instructions.
  • It may take up to 2 weeks or longer for Levatol to fully work. Do not change your dose without 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.
  • Levatol may mask certain signs of overactive thyroid (eg, fast heartbeat). If you have or may have overactive thyroid, do not suddenly stop taking Levatol. Suddenly stopping Levatol could worsen your condition. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • If you have a history of any severe allergic reaction, talk with your doctor. You may be at risk of an even more severe allergic reaction if you come into contact with the substance that caused your allergy. Some medicines used to treat severe allergies may also not work as well while you are using Levatol.
  • If your doctor has instructed you to check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly, be sure to do so.
  • Do not take any medicines used for colds, congestion, or weight loss without first talking with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Diabetes patients - Levatol may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Diabetes patients - Levatol may mask 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.
  • Before having any surgical or dental procedures or receiving emergency treatment, tell the doctor or dentist in charge that you are receiving Levatol.
  • Levatol may interfere with certain lab tests, including the glaucoma screening test. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Levatol.
  • 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 Levatol with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially slow heartbeat.
  • Use Levatol 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 Levatol during pregnancy. It is unknown if Levatol is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Levatol, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

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

Possible side effects of Levatol:

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:

Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; indigestion; light-headedness; nausea; tiredness; 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); chest pain; fainting; fever with aching and sore throat; mental or mood changes (eg, confusion, depression, short-term memory loss); severe or persistent dizziness; severe or persistent stomach pain; shortness of breath; slow or irregular heartbeat; sudden, unexplained weight gain; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; wheezing.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing; fainting; severe dizziness or light-headedness; shortness of breath; slow or irregular heartbeat; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; wheezing.

Proper storage of Levatol:

Store Levatol at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Levatol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Levatol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Levatol 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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Levatol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Levatol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Levatol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Levatol.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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