Precautions and Warnings With Labetalol

Specific Labetalol Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking labetalol include the following:
 
  • Labetalol can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Labetalol).
     
  • This medicine may hide certain signs of hyperthyroidism. Do not stop taking labetalol abruptly, as this can cause serious symptoms of hyperthyroidism to appear suddenly and without warning. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider before stopping treatment so that it can be done so in a safe manner.
     
  • In rare cases, labetalol may cause injury to the liver. Most often, this damage is reversible; however, there have been cases of permanent injury or even death. You should tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any possible symptoms of liver problems, including:
 
    • Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
    • Dark urine
    • Vomiting
    • Itching
    • Upper-right abdominal pain (stomach pain).
 
  • This medicine may cause extreme low blood pressure, a slow heart rate, or both in some people. Symptoms can include dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. These symptoms may be more noticeable when going from sitting or lying down to standing.
If you develop any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to occur in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, or who have diarrhea or vomiting. Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how labetalol affects you.
  • Using medicines such as labetalol for a long time can, in some cases, lead to heart failure. If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare provider:
 
 
  • People with congestive heart failure who take labetalol are at increased risk for the condition becoming worse. This occurs more often when the dosage is increased. Therefore, if your healthcare provider prescribes this drug, he or she may choose to monitor you more closely, especially during dosage changes. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice any possible symptoms.
     
  • People taking this medicine should not stop it abruptly. In clinical studies, this has been shown to increase a person's chances for developing angina (chest pain), heart attack, or serious irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). This risk is even greater in people with existing heart disease.
     
  • Labetalol should be used with caution, if at all, in people with certain lung diseases, such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is because medicines like labetalol can affect the lungs and can cause a narrowing of the airways. This risk is increased in people with certain lung diseases. If you develop problems breathing or wheezing, call your healthcare provider.
     
  • For people with allergies, labetalol may increase the reaction to the specific allergens, and your body may not respond to the usual doses of epinephrine.
     
  • In people with diabetes, labetalol may mask symptoms of low blood sugar. If you have diabetes, make sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
     
  • If you are going to have surgery, let your healthcare provider or dentist know that you are taking labetalol. In general, it is not recommended to stop taking this medication before surgery.
     
  • Medications like labetalol have been reported to cause intraoperative floppy iris syndrome, a problem with the eyes that can occur during cataract surgery. Stopping labetalol before surgery probably does not prevent this problem from occurring. Before having eye surgery, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have been on labetalol.
     
  • Labetalol is a pregnancy Category C medicine, which means there may be an increased risk to the fetus. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant while taking this drug (see Labetalol and Pregnancy for more information).

   

  • This medication passes through breast milk. If you are nursing, talk to your healthcare provider about your particular situation (see Labetalol and Breastfeeding for more information).
     
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Labetalol HCl

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