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Drugs reference index «Betapace»

Betapace

Generic Name: sotalol (SOE ta lol)Brand Names: Betapace, Sorine

What is Betapace (sotalol)?

Sotalol is in a group of drugs called beta-blockers. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).

Sotalol is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with certain heart rhythm disorders of the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow out of the heart). Sotalol is used in people with ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.

Another form of this medicine, called Sotalol AF, is used to treat heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart). Sotalol AF is used in people with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Sotalol (Betapace and Sorine) is not used for the same conditions that sotalol AF (Betapace AF) is used for.

Sotalol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Betapace (sotalol)?

You will receive your first few doses of sotalol in a hospital setting where your heart rhythm can be monitored, in case the medication causes serious side effects.

If there are any changes in the brand or strength of sotalol you use, your dosage needs may change. Betapace and Sorine are not used for the same conditions that Betapace AF is used for. Always check your medicine when it is refilled to make sure you have received the correct brand and type as prescribed by your doctor. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine given to you at the pharmacy.

Do not skip doses or stop taking sotalol without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

If you need to have any type of surgery, you may need to temporarily stop using sotalol. Be sure the surgeon knows ahead of time that you are using sotalol.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Betapace (sotalol)?Do not use this medication if you are allergic to sotalol, or if you have:
  • asthma;

  • certain heart conditions, especially "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);

  • a history of "Long QT syndrome"; or

  • severe or uncontrolled congestive heart failure.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take sotalol:

  • breathing problems such as bronchitis or emphysema;

  • a history of heart disease or congestive heart failure;

  • diabetes;

  • kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • an electrolyte imbalance such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood; or

  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Sotalol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Betapace (sotalol)?

You will receive your first few doses of sotalol in a hospital setting where your heart can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects.

Take sotalol exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

If there are any changes in the brand or strength of sotalol you use, your dosage needs may change. Betapace and Sorine are not used for the same conditions that Betapace AF is used for. Always check your medicine when it is refilled to make sure you have received the correct brand and type as prescribed by your doctor. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine given to you at the pharmacy.

Take this medication with a full glass of water.

Take sotalol at the same time every day.

Do not skip doses or stop taking sotalol without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Tell your doctor if you have an illness that involves diarrhea or vomiting lasting more than a few hours. Prolonged diarrhea or vomiting can lower your potassium levels, making it dangerous for you to use sotalol.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood pressure will need to be checked on a regular basis. Your heart and kidney function will also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using sotalol.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon that you are using sotalol. You may need to briefly stop using sotalol before having surgery.

Store sotalol at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

See also: Betapace dosage in more detail

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If your next dose is less than 8 hours away, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include slow or fast heartbeats, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling, hunger, weakness, confusion, sweating, feeling light-headed, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Betapace (sotalol)?

Do not take an antacid within 2 hours before or after taking sotalol. Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends. Antacids contain different medicines and some types can make it harder for your body to absorb sotalol.

Betapace (sotalol) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • fast or pounding heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath;

  • feeling light-headed, fainting;

  • slow heartbeat;

  • unusual sweating, increased thirst; or

  • swelling, rapid weight gain.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting;

  • headache;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • tired feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Betapace (sotalol)?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • clonidine (Catapres);

  • digoxin (digitalis, Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin);

  • reserpine;

  • a diuretic (water pill);

  • drugs that can affect heart rhythm, such as cisapride (Propulsid), droperidol (Inapsine), methadone (Methadose), pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam);

  • any other heart rhythm medications, especially amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), procainamide (Procan), quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release);

  • antibiotics such as azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, Ery-Tab), telithromycin (Ketek);

  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorder, such as pimozide (Orap), haloperidol (Haldol), thioridazine (Mellaril);

  • a phenothiazine such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine), trifluoperazine (Stelazine);

  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip), doxepin (Sinequan), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others;

  • a diabetes medication such as insulin, glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase, Glynase), glipizide (Glucotrol), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), metformin (Glucophage);

  • a calcium channel blocker such as diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others; or

  • medicine for asthma other breathing disorders, such as albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil), metaproterenol (Alupent), pirbuterol (Maxair), terbutaline (Brethaire, Brethine, Bricanyl), and theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Uniphyl).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with sotalol. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about sotalol.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.01. Revision Date: 12/04/2009 10:18:16 AM.
  • Betapace MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Betapace Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Betapace Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Sotalol Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Betapace AF Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Betapace AF MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Sorine Prescribing Information (FDA)

See Also...

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