(la bet' a lole)
Do not stop taking labetalol without talking to your doctor first. If labetalol is stopped suddenly, it may cause chest pain or heart attack in some people.
WHY is this medicine prescribed?
Labetalol is used to treat high blood pressure. Labetalol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure.
HOW should this medicine be used?
Labetalol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken two or three times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take labetalol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Labetalol controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take labetalol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking labetalol without talking to your doctor.
Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?
Labetalol is also used sometimes to treat angina (chest pain) and to treat patients with tetanus. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?
Before taking labetalol,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to labetalol or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other medications for high blood pressure or heart disease; cimetidine (Tagamet); nitroglycerin; medications for asthma, headaches, allergies, colds, or pain; and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver disease; asthma or other lung disease; severe allergies; diabetes; or pheochromocytoma.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking labetalol, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking labetalol.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?
Labetalol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- tingling scalp or skin
- excessive tiredness
- upset stomach
- stuffy nose
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- shortness of breath or wheezing
- swelling of the feet and lower legs
- sudden weight gain
- chest pain
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to labetalol. Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate). Ask your pharmacist or doctor to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is faster or slower than it should be, call your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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