Generic Name: sotalol AF (SO tuh lol AF)Brand Names: Betapace AF, Sotalol Hydrochloride AF
Sotalol AF is in a group of drugs called beta-blockers. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).
Sotalol AF is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with certain 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.
Another form of this medicine, called sotalol, is used to treat 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. Sotalol (Betapace and Sorine) is not used for the same conditions that sotalol AF (Betapace AF) is used for.
Sotalol AF may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about Betapace AF (sotalol AF)?You should not use this medication if you are allergic to sotalol AF, or if you have asthma, certain serious heart conditions, a history of "Long QT syndrome," severe kidney disease, low levels of potassium in your blood, or uncontrolled congestive heart failure.
Before taking sotalol AF, tell your doctor if you have breathing problems, a history of heart disease or congestive heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, a thyroid disorder, an electrolyte imbalance, or if you have recently had a heart attack.
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.You will receive your first few doses of sotalol AF 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 AF 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, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using sotalol AF. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Betapace AF (sotalol AF)?Do not use this medication if you are allergic to sotalol AF, or if you have:
certain heart conditions, especially "AV block" or "sick sinus syndrome" (unless you have a pacemaker);
a history of "Long QT syndrome";
severe kidney disease;
low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia); 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 AF:
breathing problems such as bronchitis or emphysema;
a history of heart disease or congestive heart failure;
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.
Sotalol AF comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Take sotalol AF 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 AF at the same time every day.Do not skip doses or stop taking sotalol AF 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. Call your doctor if you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking this medication, which can lead to severely low blood pressure or a serious electrolyte imbalance.
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 follow-up 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 AF.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using sotalol AF. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.Store sotalol AF at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Betapace AF dosage in more detail
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.Call your doctor if you miss more than two doses of this medication.
Overdose symptoms may include swelling, hunger, weakness, confusion, sweating, slow or fast heartbeats, chest pain, feeling short of breath, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).
Do not take an antacid within 2 hours before or after taking sotalol AF. 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 AF.
fast or pounding heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath;
feeling light-headed, fainting;
unusual sweating, increased thirst; or
swelling, rapid weight gain.
Less serious side effects may include:
mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
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.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
digoxin (digitalis, Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin);
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 (Cardioquin, Quinaglute), sotalol (Betapace);
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), fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin), prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro), promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Anergan, Antinaus), thioridazine (Mellaril), and others;
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 or other breathing disorders, such as albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil), metaproterenol (Alupent), pirbuterol (Maxair), terbutaline (Brethaire, Brethine, Bricanyl), and theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theolair).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with sotalol AF. 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.