What are the differences between metoprolol and labetalol

Beta-blockers are used for treating erratic heartbeats (a condition called arrhythmia), and also to treat hypertension. Such meds also help avoid the incidence of another cardiac arrest – especially among people who had a first cardiac arrest. A substance called epinephrine is responsible for activating stress signals. The key ingredients of beta-blocking meds inhibit the binding of epinephrine to their receptor cells. Metoprolol is a commonly prescribed selection beta-blocker drug. Do you know the differences between metoprolol and labetalol? Knowing the differences is important prior to commencing your treatment.

What is metoprolol?

This drug is taken for treating spells of hypertension, and rapid beating of your heart, and also to bring relief from chest pains caused by inadequate circulation of blood in your cardiac system. Metoprolol belongs to a genre of drugs called selective beta receptor-blocker medications.

This drug was cleared for medical use in 1978. An overdose or an excessive dosage of metoprolol may cause a severe drop in blood pressure level. This condition is called hypotension. Apart from low pressure, you may also witness fits or convulsions, slow down of heart beats (bradycardia), acid-base imbalance due to metabolic acidosis, etc. Owing to such risks, metoprolol is always administered under the supervision and guidance of a qualified medical professional.

What is labetalol?

Labetalol has both alpha-blocking as well as beta-adrenergic abilities. But – its beta-blocking abilities are not as high as those of drugs such as propranolol. Similarly, its alpha-blocking capabilities are not as noteworthy as meds like phentolamine. Regardless of such limitations, key substances present in labetalol help reduce stress built up in your blood vessels and regulate heartbeat. These actions ensure an adequate supply of blood to your heart and thus helps treat chest pain, arrythmia and other heart conditions.

Labetalol is mostly prescribed for managing spells of hypertension. Your doctor may administer its injectable or oral-pill form. The dosage form depends on your age, severity of hypertension, presence of renal or hepatic conditions, etc. Since its introduction in 1970s, it has reached high level of market acceptance. As per a few reliable sources, prescriptions written for labetalol have reached more than 1.8-million mark per annum.

What are the differences between metoprolol and labetalol?

A key difference is – labetalol can inhibit beta receptors and alpha receptors. Metoprolol is mainly a beta-blocking med. Labetalol is available as a generic med; this makes it easy for most people to buy this med – especially, it is affordable to people without insurance. On the other hand, metoprolol is yet to witness the launch of its generic equivalent.

Another major difference rests on the half-life of these two meds. Labetalol has a half-life period of 7.5 – 8 hours. Metoprolol has a half-life of nearly 4 hours. You need to know that half-life is the time (in hours) taken to reduce the level of plasma-concentration to half of its initial value.

On the side effects front – labetalol may trigger conditions like orthostatic-hypotension (of the symptomatic type). Metoprolol may cause a few adverse side effects like bradycardia, sudden drop in blood pressure and heart failure. Intake of alcohol along with either of these meds may cause serious consequences. If alcohol is taken with labetalol, you may witness extreme levels of dizziness and drowsiness. In such cases, it is unsafe to operate heavy machinery, engage in driving or pursue sporting activities like swimming, cycling or running.

Both these drugs are not taken through the over-the-counter (OTC) route. It is a safe practice to take these drugs as per the instructions of a qualified clinical practitioner. In order to know more about the differences between metoprolol and labetalol, you are advised to consult with your caregiving team and/or your pharmacist.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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