Sotalol tablets (Betapace(R))
What do sotalol tablets (Betapace(R)) do?
SOTALOL (Betapace(R)) belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. Betapace(R) is an antiarrhythmic given to patients with ventricular arrhythmias (rapid, irregular heartbeats) such as ventricular tachycardia. Betapace(R) treats irregular heart rhythm and can slow rapid heartbeats (tachycardia). Betapace(R) can help your heart to return to and maintain a normal rhythm. Generic sotalol tablets are available.
What should my health care professional know before I take sotalol?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• asthma, bronchitis or bronchospasm
• circulation problems, or blood vessel disease (such as Raynaud’s disease)
• emphysema, or other lung disease
• heart disease or heart failure
• heart rhythm problems
• heart valve problems
• history of low levels of potassium or magnesium
• kidney disease
• low blood pressure
• muscle weakness or disease (such as myasthenia gravis)
• thyroid disease
• an unusual or allergic reaction to sotalol, other beta-blockers, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take sotalol tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You may take sotalol tablets with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber’s advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Elderly patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction to this medicine and need smaller doses.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is within 8 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with sotalol?
• amphetamine or other stimulant drugs
• antacids (such as Tums(R), Rolaids(R), Maalox(R), and others)
• certain antibiotics such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, grepafloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin
• hawthorn or ginger
• medicines for angina or high blood pressure
• medicines for colds and breathing difficulties
• medicines for diabetes
• medicines for mental depression or other mental problems
• medicines known as MAO inhibitors, such as phenelzine (Nardil(R)), tranylcypromine (Parnate(R)), isocarboxazid (Marplan(R)), and selegiline (Carbex(R), Eldepryl(R))
• medicines to control heart rhythm
• some medicines for weight loss (including some herbal products, ephedrine, dextroamphetamine)
• water pills (diuretics)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking sotalol?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• chest pain
• changes in blood sugar if you have diabetes
• cold hands or feet
• difficulty breathing, wheezing, or shortness of breath
• dizziness or fainting spells
• fast or irregular heartbeat, palpitations, chest pain
• less appetite or more thirst than normal
• slow heart rate (fewer than 50 beats per minute)
• swelling of legs or ankles
• unusual sweating
• unusual weakness or tiredness
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• mental depression
• sexual difficulties (impotence or decreased sexual urges)
• weakness or tiredness