Labetalol: What Is It, Side Effects And Nurses Role?

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Labetalol is a medication used to treat high blood pressure. It can be administered intravenously in severe hypertension or orally for long term hypertension management. Labetalol is a Beta- Alpha blocker, it has effects on both short and long term situations.

In short term,  it decreases blood pressure by decreasing systemic vascular resistance with no increase in stroke volume. 

In long term, it reduces the heart rate during exercise while maintaining cardiac output by an increase in stroke value.

Labetalol is available both in tablets at 100mg, 200mg, 300mg by different trade names, and injection at 50mg.

Mode of administration 
It can be administered both intravenously and orally.
Labetalol should be given slowly
In hypertensive emergency cases, the initial dose which is usually 20mg should be given over 2 minutes

Side effects of labetalol
Tingling scalp or skin
Stuffy nose
Upset stomach
Difficult breathing
Signs or hear problems,  (fast heartbeat, chest tightness)

Severe hypotension
Any obstructive airway disease, including asthma

Nurses Responsibility in the administration of labetalol
Before administration
Check the drug and dosage
Check for allergies
Check vital signs
Explain procedure to the patient. Patient must give you consent as a nurse.

After administration
Monitor  patient for side effects. Patient is likely to sleep after administration, or complain of headache.
Check vital signs. In case of side effects like chest tightness, rapid pulse rate.
Psychologically reassure patient if side effects persist for longer hours

I hope this helps?

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