Labetalol, a combined α- and β-adrenergic blocker is often used to attenuate the transient increases in heart rate and blood pressure that accompany electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). It has been suggested that labetalol should not be administered during ECT without the protection provided by anticholinergic medications, because of its potential severe bradycardic effects. We present our experience with 32 patients from all age groups who received labetalol without anticholinergic treatment during ECT. None of the patients demonstrated adverse bradycardic effects. We conclude that administration of labetalol during ECT does not routinely require premedication with anticholinergic drugs and does not lengthen asystole.
- Cardiovascular complications
- Electroconvulsive therapy