Labetalol (Intravenous)

Overview

Labetalol injection is administered to patients suffering from severe hypertension (high blood pressure). If you do suffer from hypertension, then it is vital that you seek suitable treatment as soon as possible. If untreated, it can lead to severe medical problems such as heart attacks, kidney failure, or strokes. This is because high blood pressure continually adds to the workload placed on your arteries and heart. After a time, these arteries and your heart are unable to function properly which then lead to the aforementioned medical problems.

As a beta-blocker, Labetalol is able to affect the response to nerve impulses in your heart and other parts of your body. In turn, your heart is able to beat slower and your blood pressure can become lower. As a result of this lower blood pressure, your heart has access to more oxygen and blood.

Be aware that you can only access the Labetalol injection via a prescription from your doctor. This is because it is only suitable for certain patients and has a very specific set of uses. It can interact with a variety of other drugs and can cause unwanted side effects to occur.

Condition(s) treated

  • Severe hypertension

Type of medicine

  • Beta-blocker

Side effects

As well as serving the purpose of reducing severe hypertension, Labetalol may cause other unwanted side effects as well. These side effects can range in their severity and their need for medical attention. Be aware that some patients may experience multiple side effects after taking this drug, where others may experience none. Below is a list of the more severe side effects that may occur. If you do experience any of these after taking Labetalol, you should contact your nurse or doctor immediately.

More common

  • Tingling of the skin or scalp

Less common

  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or faintness when getting up from a sitting or lying position suddenly

Rare

  • Trouble swallowing or breathing

Below are the symptoms of overdose. If you experience any of these after receiving the Labetalol injection, then seek emergency medical assistance.

  • Muscle jerking or spasms of all extremities

As well as these more serious side effects, it is possible you may just experience more minor ones that do not require medical assistance. Below is a list of such side effects. You may find that these side effects pass over time as your treatment progresses and your body adjusts to the medicine. However, if you do experience any of the effects listed below and find them lingering or bothersome, then you can still contact your doctor. They may be able to advise on ways to help reduce them.

More common

  • Stuffy nose

Less common

  • Stomach upset or discomfort

It is possible that you will experience side effects that have not been listed here. If that is the case and you would like to discuss them, then you should contact your nurse or doctor.

Dosage

You will not need to worry about dosages of this injection. It will be calculated and administered by a trained nurse or doctor. It is given via a needle that is placed into one of your veins.

Interactions

It is possible that the Labetalol injection will interact with other medicines you are currently taking. In many cases, your doctor will want to avoid interactions as they may affect your treatment. However, in other cases an interaction is necessary as taking the two medicines is best for your treatment. Either way, you should inform your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you are currently taking. Directly below is a list of medicines with which it is usually not recommended you take at the same time as Labetalol. However, it may be necessary for some patients to take both. Under such circumstances, your doctor may alter one or both doses of the interacting medicines in order to minimize the interaction.

  • Dronedarone

If you take any of the following medicines at the same time as Labetalol, then you may be at an increased risk of experiencing certain side effects. However, once again it may still be best for you to take both. As such, your doctor may wish to alter the doses of one or both of the medicines you receive.

  • St John's Wort

As well as interacting with other medicines, it is possible that Labetalol will interact with certain aspects of your dietary intake. Your doctor may, therefore, make recommendations to how much or how frequently you eat, drink, or smoke certain things. For example, it may be recommended that you smoke less tobacco or drink less alcohol whilst receiving this treatment.

Finally, other medical problems you suffer from may interact with Labetalol. You should, therefore, inform your doctor of your complete medical history. In particular, be careful in pointing out any of the following if they apply to you.

  • Liver disease. You should use Labetalol with caution as its effects may be heightened due to the slower removal of it from your body

Warnings

Before your doctor prescribes you Labetalol, they will first want to ensure it is indeed the best medicine for your treatment. They will, therefore, need to fully examine you. As a part of this examination, they will need to be made aware of any and all allergies you suffer from. This includes allergies to dyes, animals, preservatives, and foods.

As of writing, no efficacy and safety have been established for the use of Labetalol injection in the pediatric population. This is because no appropriate studies have been conducted into the effects it would have on younger patients compared to adult patients.

Similarly, there is currently no information available about the effects this injection could have on geriatric patients. Be aware, however, that older patients are more likely to suffer from age-related heart and liver problems. This could mean that the doses they receive of this injection will need to be altered.

As of writing, it is unclear as to whether suitable studies have been conducted on breastfeeding women using this medicine. Your doctor is best placed to advise you on any increased risks you may face in having the Labetalol injection. You can then weigh any such risks against the benefits of taking it.

The studies that have taken place on breastfeeding women receiving this injection have shown that there is a minimal risk posed to the infant.

After receiving a few injections of Labetalol over a period of time, your doctor will then tell you to start taking oral medicine that has the same effects. If you have any questions about this process, then you should discuss these with your doctor.

Storage

You will not be required to store the Labetalol injection. It will be administered in a clinical setting by a trained nurse or doctor. It will be their responsibility to ensure it is stored correctly.

Summary

If you are currently suffering from severely high blood pressure then it is very important that you seek a suitable form of treatment to help bring your blood pressure down. Doing so early on will greatly reduce your chances of experiencing very severe conditions like strokes or heart attacks. Labetalol injection is just one form of medicine that may be prescribed to you to help achieve this goal.

Before receiving it, however, you should be open and honest with your doctor about your medical history and any other questions they have. If this medicine is not suitable, then they can prescribe an alternate one instead. If you do experience any of the more serious side effects listed above, then you should contact your doctor immediately. Similarly, if you have any other questions about Labetalol or your treatment in general, these are best addressed to your medical professional.