Labetalol | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

labetalol, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Normodyne (Discontinued)
  • Trandate
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
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Highlights for labetalol

Oral tablet
1

Labetalol is an oral drug that’s used to treat high blood pressure. 

2

The standard starting dose is 100 mg taken by mouth two times per day. The recommended dose is 200–400 mg taken twice per day to control your blood pressure.

3

You shouldn’t take labetalol if you have asthma, certain types of heart failure, or a very low heart rate.

4

This drug may cause sudden harm to your liver. Your doctor may check your liver function while you’re taking labetalol.

5

Common side effects include dizziness, nausea, and tiredness.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have asthma. If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), your doctor may have you use this drug with caution after other drugs have not worked. It may make it harder for you to breathe or stop certain breathing medications from working as well.

Heart problems

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have unstable heat failure, second- or third- degree heart block, or a very slow heart rate (bradycardia). It may make these conditions worse. If you have heart disease and you suddenly stop taking this drug, you’re at high risk for chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.

Liver damage

This drug may cause sudden harm to your liver. Symptoms may include itching, dark-colored urine, loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice), and right-sided stomach pain. Let your doctor know if you have these symptoms. Your doctor may also monitor your liver function while you’re taking this drug.

What is Labetalol?

This drug is a prescription drug. It is available in these forms: oral tablets and intravenous (IV), which is only given by a healthcare provider.

This drug is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

This drug may be taken as part of a combination therapy with other medications that lower your blood pressure, such as thiazide and loop diuretics.

Why it's used

This drug is used to reduce high blood pressure. This lowers your risk of complications from high blood pressure, such as heart attack and stroke.

How It Works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by causing your heart to beat slower and with less force. This lowers your blood pressure.

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labetalol Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with labetalol include:

  • dizziness

  • nausea

  • fatigue

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • low heart rate (bradycardia). Symptoms can include:

    • dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
    • fatigue
  • low blood pressure, especially when getting up from a seated position (orthostatic hypotension). Symptoms can include:

    • dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
  • liver damage. Symptoms include:

    • itching
    • dark-colored urine
    • loss of appetite
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
    • right-sided stomach tenderness or pain
    • fatigue
  • heart failure. Symptoms include:

    • shortness of breath
    • chronic coughing or wheezing
    • build-up of fluid (swelling) in your legs, ankles, or chest
    • tiredness
    • lightheadedness
    • nausea
    • lack of appetite
    • confusion or trouble thinking
  • breathing problems. Symptoms include:

    • shortness of breath
    • trouble breathing
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug may cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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labetalol May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Labetalol can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol interaction

Your body processes alcohol and this drug in similar ways. That means that if you drink alcohol, this drug might take longer to leave your body. This could cause worse side effects from labetalol.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs used to treat depression

Taking labetalol with a tricyclic antidepressant may increase your risk of tremors. 

These drugs include:

  • amitriptyline
  • doxepin
  • nortriptyline
  • clomipramine

Asthma inhalers

Taking labetalol may cause narrowing of your airways. This may make it harder for you to breathe.   Your doctor may increase your dose of asthma medications.

These drugs include:

  • albuterol
  • salmeterol
  • aformoterol
  • indacaterol
  • olodaterol

Heartburn medications

Heartburn medications can cause the amount of labetalol in your body to increase. This can cause more side effects.

These drugs include:

  • cimetidine

Heart medications

Taking labetalol with certain medications for the heart may cause you to have very low blood pressure and heart rate.

These drugs include:

  • nitroglycerin
  • digoxin
  • clonidine
  • amiodarone
  • disopyramide
  • calcium channel blockers, such as:
    • nifedipine
    • diltiazem
    • verapamil

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
heart problems
People with heart problems

This drug may cause or worsen heart failure. You shouldn’t use this drug if you have unstable heart failure, second- or third-degree heart block, or a very low heart rate (bradycardia). If you have heart disease and you stop taking this medication suddenly, you’re at high risk for chest pain (angina) and a heart attack.

liver problems
People with liver problems

If you have liver problems, your body may not process this drug as quickly as it needs to. This can cause this drug to build up in your system. This would put you at higher risk for side effects. Your doctor may keep you at a lower dose and watch you more closely.

breathing problems
People with breathing problems

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have asthma. If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), your doctor may use this drug with caution after other drugs have not worked. It may make it harder for you to breathe or certain breathing medications may not work as well.

diabetes
People with diabetes

This drug may mask symptoms of low blood sugar, such as fast heart rate. This drug also lowers the amount of insulin your body releases in response to high blood sugar levels. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your diabetes medications.

untreated pheochromocytoma
People with untreated pheochromocytoma

Don’t use this medication if you have untreated pheochromocytoma (a tumor that can cause very high blood pressure). It can mask the symptoms of your condition.

cataracts
People with cataracts

If you plan to have cataract surgery, let your doctor know you’re taking this drug. This drug can cause a complication called intraoperative flopping iris syndrome (IFIS) during surgery.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

This drug may pass into breast milk and cause serious side effects in a child who is breastfed.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take this drug or breastfeed.

for seniors
For seniors

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

for children
For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your lips, tongue, or face

Don’t take this drug again if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take labetalol (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Brand: Trandate

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 100 mg, 200, and 300 mg

Generic: labetalol

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 100 mg, 200, and 300 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The starting dose is 100 mg taken by mouth two times per day. The recommended maintenance dose is 200–400 mg taken two times per day. If needed, your doctor may increase your dose every 2–3 days. The maximum dose is 2400 mg per day taken in 2–3 divided doses.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The recommended maintenance dose is 100–200 mg taken by mouth two times per day.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all

If you don’t take this medicine, your blood pressure will stay high and may get worse. You’ll have a higher chance of a heart attack or stroke.

If you stop taking it suddenly

Don’t stop taking this drug suddenly. Doing so could increase your risk of chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.

If you don't take it on schedule

Your blood pressure may not improve or may get worse. You may not feel any different but your blood pressure won’t be well controlled. This can increase your chance for a stroke or heart attack.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours until the time for your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could cause toxic side effects.

If you take too much

If you take too much of this drug, you may have the following symptoms:

  • slow heart rate
  • low blood pressure
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • trouble breathing
  • swelling in your legs, ankles, or chest
  • seizures

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.

How to tell this drug is working

You may be able to tell this drug is working if you check your blood pressure and it’s lower.

This drug is a long-term drug treatment.

This drug must be stored at the right temperature

  • Store this drug at room temperature between 59°F (15°C) and 86°F (30°C).
  • Keep it away from light.
  • Keep it away from high temperature.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Self-management

Your doctor may ask you to check your blood pressure at home. You should keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments.

You’ll need to purchase a blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure at home. These are available at most pharmacies.

Clinical monitoring

While you are taking this drug, your doctor will monitor the following:

  • blood pressure
  • heart rate
  • liver function 

Hidden costs

You may need to purchase a home blood pressure monitor to keep track of your blood pressure.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

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How Much Does labetalol Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for labetalol

Walmart $20.62
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Walgreens $22.53
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for labetalol on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for labetalol on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 2, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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