Adverse Effects

There have been reports of excessive hypotension and paradoxical pressor effects following intravenous administration of labetalol. These latter effects may be due to a labetalol-induced blockade of neuronal amine uptake, which increases the concentrations of norepi-nephrine in the vicinity of its receptors.

Approximately 5% of the patients who receive la-betalol complain of side effects typical of noradrenergic nervous system suppression. These include postural hypotension, gastrointestinal distress, tiredness, sexual dysfunction, and tingling of the scalp. Most of these effects are related to a-blockade, although the tingling of the scalp may be due to the drug's intrinsic activity at a-receptors. Side effects associated with p-blockade, such as induction of bronchospasm and congestive heart failure, may also occur, but generally at a lower frequency than a-receptor-associated effects.

Skin rashes have been reported, as has an increase in the titer of antinuclear antibodies. Despite the latter observation, the appearance of a systemic lupus syndrome is rare. Labetalol also has been reported to interfere with chemical measurements of catecholamines and metabolites.

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