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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Labetalol Dose?

By S. Berger
Updated May 17, 2024
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Lebetalol, a medication taken for treating conditions such as high blood pressure, or hypertension, usually requires a carefully calculated dose. Several reasons for this exist, including the fact that this medication absorbs into the body with varying efficiency depending on how it is administered. Individual differences, such as the reason for taking this drug, as well as age and weight, can also influence a person's optimal labetalol dose.

One of the more common reasons adults may take this drug is as a hypertension therapy. Often, an individual can begin taking an oral loading dose of 100 milligrams (mg), twice a day, sometimes with a diuretic to aid in water loss. After a few days of this therapy, many adults increase their labetalol dose to between 200 mg and 400 mg, two times every day. Usually, a person with hypertension will not increase their total dosage more than 200 mg in a day, and only as needed to control their blood pressure. In some of the more extreme cases of hypertension, individuals may take 1200 mg to 1400 mg doses, twice daily, for symptom relief.

Older adults, past the age of 75, may sometimes take smaller amounts of this drug. Geriatric people may begin with an initial labetalol dose of 50 mg to 100 mg, taken two times a day. When an individual does not see a significant decrease in blood pressure, they may increase their dose in amounts of 50 mg per day. After several days, this dose may level off to consisting of two 100 mg to 200 mg doses taken each day.

Emergency hypertension situations may require dosages based on weight. A hypertensive crisis can sometimes be treated with a labetalol dose of 0.25 mg for every 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of body weight. Usually, this dose is provided through injection. It may also be given slowly, over the course of two minutes, and repeated every ten minutes until symptoms decrease.

Other medical conditions like liver damage can influence an appropriate labetalol dose, at times. Labetalol is broken down in the liver, so damage to this organ can result in the drug being removed from the body more slowly. To reduce side effects that can sometimes be caused by a buildup of this medication in the blood, individuals with liver conditions may start with a dose of just 50 mg. When dosage increases are necessary, these people generally only increase their dose by 50 mg at a time.

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