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Acebutolol

Generic Name: acebutolol (A se BUE toe lol)
Brand Name: Sectral

Medically reviewed on June 24, 2016.

What is acebutolol?

Acebutolol is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).

Acebutolol is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart rhythm disorders.

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

Important Information

You should not use acebutolol if you have a serious heart condition such as "AV block" (2nd or 3rd degree), severe heart failure, or slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use acebutolol if you are allergic to it, or if you have a serious heart condition such as:

  • AV block (2nd or 3rd degree);

  • severe heart failure; or

  • slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint.

To make sure acebutolol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. However, taking acebutolol during pregnancy may cause problems after the baby is born. This includes low birth weight, slow heartbeats, and low blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking acebutolol.

Acebutolol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take acebutolol?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

You should not stop using acebutolol suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medicine even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.

Acebutolol is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. 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 very slow heartbeats, trouble breathing, severe dizziness, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking acebutolol?

Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cough or cold medicine that contains a decongestant. Taking acebutolol together with a decongestant may raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels.

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Acebutolol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • new or worsening chest pain;

  • slow heartbeats;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, nosebleed, anxiety, confusion, severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats.

Common side effects may include:

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)

Acebutolol dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 400 mg orally per day in 1 to 2 divided doses
Maintenance dose: 400 to 800 mg orally per day

Comments: Some patients may respond to as little as 200 mg orally per day; patients with inadequately controlled or more severe hypertension may respond to 600 mg orally twice a day or to the addition of a second antihypertensive; beta-1 selectivity diminishes with increasing dose.

Usual Adult Dose for Ventricular Arrhythmia:

Initial dose: 200 mg orally twice a day
Maintenance dose: 600 to 1200 mg orally per day

What other drugs will affect acebutolol?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with acebutolol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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