Levatol Warnings and Precautions

To help ensure the safe use of Levatol, warnings and precautions for the drug should be reviewed with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment. You should tell your healthcare provider about all other medical conditions you have, as the medication could make certain conditions worse. You may not be able to take Levatol if you have asthma, cardiogenic shock, or a very slow heart rate.

Levatol: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Levatol® (penbutolol sulfate) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Levatol Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Levatol include the following:
  • As with all beta blockers, you should not abruptly stop taking Levatol, as serious problems (including heart attacks) may result. Your healthcare provider will advise you about how to safely stop taking this medication. People are generally recommended to slowly reduce the dose over a period of one to two weeks, with careful monitoring, and to minimize physical activity during this time. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop chest pain or any other problems while stopping treatment.
  • Beta blockers can worsen breathing problems like asthma or COPD. If you have breathing problems, check with your healthcare provider before taking Levatol.
  • The kidneys remove Levatol from the body. Therefore, if you have kidney disease, your healthcare provider may need to monitor your response to the medication more closely and a lower dosage may be recommended.
  • Like all beta blockers, Levatol can worsen heart failure in some situations. However, beta blockers are also useful for the treatment of heart failure. If you have heart failure, your healthcare provider may need to monitor you closely while you take this drug. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if your symptoms seem to worsen.
  • If you will be having surgery, make sure your surgeon and anesthesiologist know you take Levatol, as it may affect the choice of medications used during the procedure.
  • Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), particularly the "racing heart" feeling. This can cause serious problems for people with diabetes, who need to be able to sense that they have low blood sugar in order to correct it before it becomes life-threatening.
  • Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Stopping Levatol suddenly could cause symptoms of a "thyroid storm" (a sudden and severe worsening of hyperthyroidism symptoms).
  • Levatol can potentially interact with many other medications (see Levatol Interactions).
  • If you have an anaphylactic allergy (the type that affects the entire body and often interferes with breathing), Levatol may make you more sensitive to the allergen and may make the usual treatments (such as epinephrine or an EpiPen®) less effective.
  • Levatol is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it might not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Levatol and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if Levatol passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Levatol and Breastfeeding).
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