Generic Name: labetalol (la-BAYT-a-lol)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 28, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Cardiovascular Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Alpha/Beta-Adrenergic Blocker
Uses for labetalol
Labetalol injection is used to treat severe high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled .
Labetalol is a beta-blocker. It works by affecting the response to nerve impulses in certain parts of the body, like the heart. As a result, the heart beats slower and decreases the blood pressure. When the blood pressure is lowered, the amount of blood and oxygen is increased to the heart .
Labetalol is available only with your doctor's prescription .
Before using labetalol
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For labetalol, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to labetalol or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of labetalol injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established .
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of labetalol in geriatric patients. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver and heart problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving labetalol injection .
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving labetalol, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using labetalol with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Iobenguane I 123
- Iobenguane I 131
Using labetalol with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Choline Salicylate
- Flufenamic Acid
- Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
- Insulin Degludec
- Insulin Detemir
- Insulin Glargine, Recombinant
- Insulin Glulisine
- Insulin Human Inhaled
- Insulin Human Isophane (NPH)
- Insulin Human Regular
- Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
- Magnesium Sulfate
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- St John's Wort
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of labetalol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angina (severe chest pain)—May provoke chest pain if stopped too quickly .
- Asthma or
- Bradycardia (slow heartbeat) or
- Heart block or
- Heart failure or
- Low blood pressure, severe and prolonged—Should not use in patients with these conditions .
- Diabetes or
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)—May cover up some of the signs and symptoms of these diseases, such as a fast heartbeat .
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body .
- Lung disease (e.g., bronchitis, emphysema)—May cause difficulty with breathing in patients with this condition .
- Pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor)—Use with caution. May require an increased dose .
Proper use of labetalol
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you labetalol. Labetalol is given through a needle placed in one of your veins .
Precautions while using labetalol
Your doctor will only give you a few doses of labetalol, and then you will be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor .
Labetalol side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- tingling of the scalp or skin
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- black, tarry stools
- blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- clay-colored stools
- dark urine
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- general tiredness and weakness
- itching skin
- light-colored stools
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- sensation of spinning
- skin rash
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- yellow eyes or skin
- Chest pain or discomfort
- difficult or labored breathing
- difficulty swallowing
- hives or welts
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- redness of skin
- shortness of breath
- slow heartbeat
- swelling of eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
- tightness in chest
- troubled breathing or swallowing
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
- dilated neck veins
- extreme fatigue
- irregular breathing
- loss of bladder control
- muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
- noisy breathing
- sudden loss of consciousness
- weight gain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Stuffy nose
- Acid or sour stomach
- change in taste or bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- inability to have or keep an erection
- increased yawning
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stomach discomfort or upset
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about labetalol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 12 Reviews
- Drug class: non-cardioselective beta blockers
- FDA Alerts (2)
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