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Betapace

Pronunciation

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

What is Betapace (sotalol)?

Sotalol is a beta-blocker that affects 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, Sorine) is not used for the same conditions that sotalol AF (Betapace AF) is used for.

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

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

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to sotalol, or if you have asthma, certain serious heart conditions, or a history of Long QT syndrome.

Before taking sotalol, tell your doctor if you have breathing problems, a history of heart disease or congestive heart failure, an electrolyte imbalance, diabetes, kidney disease, a thyroid disorder, a history of allergies, or if you have recently had a heart attack.

Sotalol (Betapace, Sorine) is not used for the same conditions that sotalol AF (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.

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 surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using sotalol. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Betapace (sotalol)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to sotalol, or if you have:

  • asthma;

  • a serious heart condition, especially "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);

  • severe heart failure (that required you to be in the hospital);

  • a history of Long QT syndrome; or

  • a history of slow heart beats that have caused you to faint.

To make sure sotalol is safe for you, tell your doctor about your other medical conditions, especially:

  • breathing problems such as bronchitis or emphysema;

  • a history of heart disease or congestive heart failure;

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

  • diabetes;

  • kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • a history of allergies; or

  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

FDA pregnancy category B. Sotalol is not expected to harm 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. You should not breast-feed while you are using sotalol.

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 exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take sotalol at the same time every day.

Shake the oral liquid well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Tell your doctor if you are sick with severe vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. Prolonged illness can lead to a serious electrolyte imbalance, making it dangerous for you to use sotalol.

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

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using sotalol. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

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 there are any changes in the brand or strength of sotalol you use, your dosage needs may change. Sotalol (Betapace, Sorine) is not used for the same conditions that sotalol AF (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.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 8 hours away. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while taking Betapace (sotalol)?

Avoid taking an antacid within 2 hours before or after you take sotalol. Some antacids 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; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • slow heartbeats;

  • trouble breathing;

  • unusual sweating, increased thirst; or

  • swelling, rapid weight gain.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, mild dizziness;

  • feeling weak or tired;

  • mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting;

  • upset stomach;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • pain in your arms or legs.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Betapace (sotalol)?

Many drugs can interact with sotalol. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • a diuretic (water pill);

  • insulin or oral diabetes medication;

  • terbutaline (Brethaire, Brethine, Bricanyl);

  • an antibiotic such as azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax, Z-Pack), clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), or pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam);

  • an antidepressant such as amitriptylline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), or desipramine (Norpramin);

  • anti-malaria medications such as chloroquine (Aralen), halofantrine (Halfan), or mefloquine (Lariam);

  • any other heart rhythm medications, especially amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), disopyramide (Norpace), dofetilide (Tikosyn), dronedarone (Multaq), flecainide (Tambocor), ibutilide (Corvert), mexiletine (Mexitil), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone, (Rythmol), or quinidine (Quin-G);

  • heart or blood pressure medicine such as amlodipine (Norvasc, Caduet, Exforge, Lotrel, Tekamlo, Tribenzor, Twynsta, Amturnide), clonidine (Catapres, Clorpres), digoxin (digitalis, Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin), diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Dilacor, Diltia, Diltzac, Taztia, Tiazac), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan, Tarka), and others;

  • medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting such as dolasetron (Anzemet), droperidol (Inapsine), or ondansetron (Zofran);

  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or ziprasidone (Geodon);

  • migraine headache medicine such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet); or

  • narcotic medication such as methadone (Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine).

This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can interact with sotalol. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or 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.
  • Disclaimer: 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.01. Revision Date: 2012-09-13, 9:54:46 AM.

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