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BETAPACE
SOTALOL - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

SOTALOL - ORAL

(SO-tuh-lol)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Betapace

WARNING: Because this medication can cause irregular heartbeats, it should only be started while you are in a hospital where your condition can be closely monitored (e.g., EKG) for at least 3 days. Close monitoring of the EKG is also recommended if your dosage is being increased. Do not switch brands of this medication without checking with your doctor. If you have angina or have had heart problems, do not suddenly stop using this medication without first consulting your doctor. If your doctor decides you should no longer use this medication, you must stop this medication gradually according to your doctor's instructions.

Uses

This medication is a beta-blocking agent used to treat serious heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias).

How To Use

Take this medication by mouth on an empty stomach as prescribed. Be sure to follow instructions closely. Do not increase your dose, skip any doses or take this more often than directed. If you use antacids (e.g., aluminum, magnesium, calcium- containing products), do not take them at the same time as sotalol. Take the antacid 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking sotalol. Do not stop taking this drug suddenly without your doctors approval. In some cases, your condition may become worse if the medication is abruptly discontinued.

Side Effects

Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, stomach upset, or blurred vision may occur the first several days as your body adjusts to the medication. Other common side effects reported include cough, decreased sexual desire, trouble sleeping, reduced concentration, altered taste, dry skin, or muscle aches. If any of these effects continue or worsen, notify your doctor immediately. Notify your doctor if you develop: chest pain, skin rash, sore throat, breathing trouble, mental confusion, trouble urinating, easy bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: fainting, irregular heartbeat. To avoid dizziness and lightheadedness when rising from a seated or lying position, get up slowly. Also limit your intake of alcoholic beverages which will aggravate these effects. Use caution performing tasks requiring alertness if this medication causes you to feel drowsy or dizzy. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor if you have: pre-existing kidney disease, heart disease, lung disease, asthma, emphysema, thyroid disease, diabetes, any allergies. This medication should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Since small amounts of this medication are found in breast milk, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take including: medication for blood pressure (e.g., clonidine), anti-diabetic drugs, calcium channel blockers (e.g., verapamil, diltiazem), antacids, St John's wort, arbutamine, aspirin/NSAIDS (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen). Report other drugs which affect the heart rhythm (QTc prolongation), such as: dofetilide, pimozide, quinidine, procainamide, sparfloxacin, "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide). Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Do not take any over-the-counter medication for allergies or cough or colds without consulting your doctor or pharmacists. Many of the products contain ingredients which may interact with this medication's effects. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include slow pulse, dizziness, fainting, weakness, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

Notes

Laboratory tests (e.g., EKG, kidney function) will be done periodically to be sure the drug is working properly and to monitor for possible side effects.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered; do not take it if it is near the time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).