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Generic name: Labetalol hydrochloride
Why is Labetalol hydrochloride prescribed?
Labetalol hydrochloride is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It is effective when used alone or in combination with other high blood pressure medications, especially thiazide diuretics such as HydroDIURIL and "loop" diuretics such as Lasix.
Most important fact about Labetalol hydrochloride
You must take Labetalol hydrochloride regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Labetalol hydrochloride; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Labetalol hydrochloride does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.
How should you take Labetalol hydrochloride?
Labetalol hydrochloride can be taken with or without food. The amount of Labetalol hydrochloride absorbed into your bloodstream is actually increased by food.
This medication should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor, even if your symptoms have disappeared.
Try not to miss any doses. If Labetalol hydrochloride is not taken regularly, your condition may worsen.
--If you miss a dose...
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.
Store at room temperature.
What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Labetalol hydrochloride.
Why should Labetalol hydrochloride not be prescribed?
You should not take Labetalol hydrochloride if you suffer from an obstructive airway disease such as bronchial asthma, congestive heart failure, heart block (a heart irregularity), inadequate blood supply to the circulatory system (cardiogenic shock), a severely slow heartbeat, or any other condition that causes severe and continued low blood pressure.
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Labetalol hydrochloride or any of its ingredients you should not take Labetalol hydrochloride.
Special warnings about Labetalol hydrochloride
Labetalol hydrochloride has caused severe liver damage in some people. Although this is a rare occurrence, if you develop any symptoms of abnormal liver function--itching, dark urine, continuing loss of appetite, yellow eyes and skin, or unexplained "flu-like" symptoms--contact your doctor immediately.
If you have a history of congestive heart failure, or kidney or liver disease, Labetalol hydrochloride should be used with caution.
Labetalol hydrochloride should not be stopped suddenly. This can cause chest pain and heart attack. Dosage should be gradually reduced.
If you suffer from asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or other bronchial diseases, Labetalol hydrochloride should be used cautiously.
This medication may mask the symptoms of low blood sugar or alter blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, discuss this with your doctor.
Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking Labetalol hydrochloride if you have a medical emergency, and before you have surgery or dental treatment.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Labetalol hydrochloride
If Labetalol hydrochloride is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before taking Labetalol hydrochloride with the following:
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
The effects of Labetalol hydrochloride during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Labetalol hydrochloride appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Labetalol hydrochloride is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
Your doctor will adjust the dosages to fit your needs. Your doctor may observe the drug"s effect in his or her office over a 1- to 3-hour period after you begin taking it, and then check your pressure again at regular office visits (12 hours after a dose) to make sure that the medicine is effective.
The usual starting dose is 100 milligrams, 2 times per day, alone or with a diuretic drug. After 2 to 3 days of checking your blood pressure, your doctor may begin increasing your dose by 100 milligrams, 2 times per day, at intervals of 2 to 3 days.
The regular dose ranges from 200 to 400 milligrams, 2 times per day. Some people may require total daily dosage of as much as 1,200 to 2,400 milligrams, either alone or with a thiazide diuretic. In these cases, your doctor will observe the drug"s effect and adjust your dose accordingly.
The safety and effectiveness of Labetalol hydrochloride in children have not been established.
The usual starting dose is the same as younger people"s--100 milligrams twice a day. Your doctor may increase the dose, but usually to no more than 200 milligrams twice a day.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately.
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Typical mistypes for Labetalol hydrochloride
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