Labetalol is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
This medication is both an alpha blocker and beta blocker. It works by blocking the action of certain natural chemicals in your body such as epinephrine on the heart and blood vessels. This effect lowers the heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on the heart.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when you suddenly stop this drug. Some people who have suddenly stopped taking similar drugs have had chest pain, heart attack, and irregular heartbeat. If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, he or she may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks.
When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop chest pain/tightness/pressure, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, or fast/irregular heartbeat.
How to Use This Medication
See also Warning section.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day. You may take this medication with or without food, but it is important to choose one way and take this medication the same way with every dose.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).