This study documents our experience with labetalol administered by continuous intravenous infusion for severe hypertension. Infusions were performed in 14 hospitalized patients (15 infusions) with supine diastolic pressure greater than 125 mmHg or supine systolic pressure greater than 200 mmHg. Blood pressures were measured by intra-arterial recording or an Arteriosonde 1225 Doppler instrument standardized with a mercury sphygmomanometer. Patients initially received 2 mg/min continuous infusion; the infusion rate varied between 0.5 and 2.0 mg/min according to the protocol. The infusion was terminated when diastolic pressure decreased 30 mmHg or when 300 mg of the drug had been infused. Goal blood pressure was achieved in all but two infusions. Sedation was the most common adverse reaction, followed by nausea and diaphoresis. No patient required discontinuation or reduction in infusion rate secondary to side effects. We conclude that continuous intravenous infusion of labetalol offers an effective alternative to current parenteral therapy.