What are the side effects of labetalol in pregnancy

High level of blood pressure does not show up through any characteristic symptoms. If it is not under control, hypertension can lead to stroke, heart arrest, coronary arterial disorders, loss of vision, etc. It is one of the leading causes of death all over the world. Medications are used for the control and treatment of hypertension. Labetalol is one of widely administered drugs in this realm. But what are its side effects in pregnant women? It is an essential thing to know prior to taking this medication.

Blood pressure is measured in the form of systolic and diastolic pressure points; of these, the former denotes maximum and the latter refers to minimum pressure. Normal range of pressure hovers in the range of 80/120 – 90/130 millimeters mercury (mmHg). Those who often witness pressures at 90/140 mmHg or above are advised to check their blood pressure regularly. Among the various risk factors, people living with autoimmune conditions like diabetes are more likely to report a high blood pressure level.

Hypertension is often termed as a silent killer; this is because of lack of signs during its onset. High blood pressure is categorised into 2 types viz., 1- essential (primary) and 2- secondary. More than 92% of hypertension is grouped under the primary type. Its incidence is largely attributed to obesity, smoking habits, excessive intake of alcohol, adding too much salt to your diet, etc. Secondary form of hypertension is triggered by unassignable causes – such as administration of birth control pills, kidney problems, narrowing of arteries of your renal system, etc.

In this milieu, what is labetalol?

This drug is used for the treatment of high blood pressure. This drug is available as an injection and a pill form. This came into clinical use since the late 1970s. The good thing is – you can get the generic form of this medication. It has already touched more 1.90 million prescriptions each year in the US; this makes labetalol feature in the top 250 list of highly prescribed drugs there.

Labetalol has both alpha-adrenergic as well as beta-adrenergic capabilities. However, its beta-blocking properties are less pronounced than propranolol; on the other hand, its alpha-adrenergic strengths are lesser than those of drugs like phentolamine. The key ingredients of labetalol help reduce vascular tension. Intake of this med for the long term may decrease your heartbeat rate while working out without compromising cardiac-output.

What are the side effects of labetalol in pregnancy?

Incidence of high pressure/hypertension in pregnant women can have serious consequences. This condition is called gestational or pregnancy-triggered hypertension. High level of pressure can lead to damage of arteries, heart muscles, etc. In some cases, persistent spells of hypertension may cause acute health problems in both the mother and her fetus. Labetalol is administered to treat spells of high pressure among women who are pregnant. Trials done on this med establish the safety of this drug during the initial stages (say, 1st trimester) of your pregnancy.

Commonly observed side effects of labetalol in pregnancy are fatigue (especially if larger doses are taken), stomach problems such as indigestion/dyspepsia, blocking of nasal passages, dizziness as well as feeling drowsy. Women have also reported a tingling sensation in their skin.

It is however not a safe practice to stop taking labetalol all of a sudden. An abrupt end to the dosage plan may cause an increase your pressure level. It becomes important to tell your caregiving team of prior conditions – chiefly, the presence of heart blocks, spells of arrythmia (or erratic heartbeats), etc. It is equally a safe thing to inform of conditions like diabetes, hepatic dysfunction and renal conditions – if any.

Lastly, inform your treating doctor of prior allergies or hypersensitivity to labetalol (and its key chemicals). This drug is not taken through over the counter route; it needs to be consumed as per the instructions of a qualified medical professional. In general, women who live with hypertension are offered an added attention during pregnancy. You are advised to consult with your physician/pharmacist about the likely risks of taking labetalol during pregnancy.


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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