Medically reviewed on December 18, 2017.
What is 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, Sotylize) 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.
You will receive your first few doses of sotalol in a hospital setting where your heart can be monitored in case the medicine causes serious side effects.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to sotalol, or if you have:
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);
asthma or other breathing disorder;
low levels of potassium in your blood;
severe kidney disease;
a personal or family 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;
coronary artery disease (hardened arteries);
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);
a thyroid disorder;
a history of allergies; or
if you have recently had a heart attack.
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 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.
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take sotalol at the same time every day.
Do not skip doses or stop using sotalol without your doctor's advice. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
While using sotalol, 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 sotalol.
If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the doctor ahead of time that you are using sotalol. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Sotalol (Betapace, Sorine, Sotylize) and sotalol AF (Betapace AF) 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.
If there are any changes in the brand or strength of sotalol you use, your dosage needs may change.
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.
Use sotalol regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
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 sotalol?
Avoid taking an antacid within 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take sotalol. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb sotalol.
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:
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
severe diarrhea or vomiting, loss of appetite;
dry mouth, unusual sweating, increased thirst; or
swelling, rapid weight gain.
Common side effects may include:
tired feeling; 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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect sotalol?
Many drugs can interact with sotalol. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with sotalol, especially:
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 sotalol. 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.
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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