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Betapace AF

Generic Name: sotalol AF (SO tuh lol AF)
Brand Name: Betapace AF, Sotalol Hydrochloride AF

What is Betapace AF?

Betapace AF is a beta-blocker that affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).

Betapace 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). This medicine is used in people with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.

Another form of this medicine, called sotalol (Betapace, Sorine, Sotylize), 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.

Betapace AF is not used for the same conditions that Betapace, Sorine, and Sotylize are used for.

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

Important Information

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

You should not use this medicine if you have asthma, certain serious heart conditions, a history of Long QT syndrome, severe kidney disease, or low levels of potassium in your blood.

Before taking this medicine

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

  • asthma;

  • a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);

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

  • a history of Long QT syndrome;

  • severe kidney disease;

  • low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia); or

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

To make sure Betapace AF 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; or

  • diabetes;

  • kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • a history of allergies; or

  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

Betapace AF is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Sotalol AF can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Betapace AF?

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

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

This medicine on comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take Betapace AF at the same time every day.

Do not skip doses or stop using Betapace AF without your doctor's advice. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

While using Betapace AF, you may need frequent blood tests. Your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).

You may have very low blood pressure while taking this medicine. Call your doctor if you are sick with 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 Betapace AF.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the doctor ahead of time that you are using Betapace AF. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Betapace AF (Betapace AF) and Sotalol (Betapace, Sorine, Sotylize) are not the same medicine. 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.

Call your doctor if you miss more than two doses of this medicine.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking Betapace AF?

Avoid taking an antacid within 2 hours before or after you take Betapace AF. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb this medicine.

Betapace AF 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:

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

  • slow heartbeats;

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

  • trouble breathing;

  • severe diarrhea or vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • dry mouth, unusual sweating, increased thirst; or

  • swelling, rapid weight gain.

Common side effects may include:

  • slow heartbeats;

  • feeling weak or tired;

  • dizziness; or

  • cough, trouble breathing.

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 AF?

Many drugs can interact with Betapace AF. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with this medicine, especially:

  • digoxin;

  • insulin or oral diabetes medicine;

  • blood pressure medication; or

  • any other medicine that contains sotalol.

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with Betapace AF. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Betapace AF.
  • 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: 3.02.

Date modified: February 01, 2018
Last reviewed: December 10, 2014