What is the role of labetalol in the treatment of preeclampsia?

Updated: Nov 29, 2018
  • Author: Kee-Hak Lim, MD; Chief Editor: Ronald M Ramus, MD  more...
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Labetalol is a selective alpha blocker and a nonselective beta blocker that produces vasodilatation and results in a decrease in systemic vascular resistance. The dosage for labetalol is 20 mg IV with repeat doses (40, 80, 80, and 80 mg) every 10 minutes up to a maximum dose of 300 mg. Decreases in BP are observed after 5 minutes (in contrast to the slower onset of action of hydralazine), and the drug results in less overshoot hypertension than does hydralazine.

Labetalol decreases supraventricular rhythm and slows the heart rate, reducing myocardial oxygen consumption. No change in afterload is observed after treatment with labetalol. The side effects of labetalol are dizziness, nausea, and headaches. After satisfactory control with IV administration has been achieved, an oral maintenance dose can be started. [13, 70]

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