acebutolol, Sectral, Prent

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GENERIC NAME: acebutolol

BRAND NAME: Sectral, Prent

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Acebutolol is a drug that blocks receptors (beta-adrenergic receptors) on nerves of the sympathetic nervous system that is used to treat high blood pressure and ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal rhythms of the heart). Other beta-adrenergic agents within the same class as acebutolol include, atenolol (Tenormin), betaxolol (Betoptic), celiprolol (Cardem), bisoprolol (Zebeta), esmolol (Brevibloc), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), and nebivolol (Bystolic). Acebutolol and other beta-adrenergic blocking drugs work by blocking the action of the neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and epinephrine, that nerves use to communicate with each other. Blocking the beta-1 adrenergic receptors in the heart allows the heart to beat more slowly thereby reducing the amount of blood that the heart must pump and, therefore, the work that the heart must do and the amount of oxygen it must use. Over time, this action improves the pumping of the heart.

Acebutolol and drugs within its class differ from other beta-adrenergic blocking drugs because they are selective beta blockers, that is, they block one type of beta-adrenergic receptor, the beta-l receptor, rather than multiple types of beta-adrenergic receptors like other beta-adrenergic blockers that are nonselective. This is especially important, in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who require treatment with beta-adrenergic blocking drugs because blocking the non-beta-1 receptors can make asthma or COPD worse. Acebutolol was approved by the FDA in December 1984.



PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 200 and 400 mg.

STORAGE: Capsules should be stored at room temperature, 77 F (25 C), away from light and moisture.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Acebutolol is used alone or with other drugs to treat high blood pressure and arrhythmias. It also is used to treat chest pain due to coronary artery disease (angina) in which the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart are inadequate for the heart to pump normally.

DOSING: Acebutolol can be taken with or without food, usually once or twice daily. The dosage of acebutolol should be reduced in patients with dysfunction of the kidneys or liver since kidney or liver disease reduce the elimination of acebutolol.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: The use of beta-blockers together with fenoldopam (Corlopam), a drug used to manage severe high blood pressure, may result in unexpectedly low blood pressure since beta-adrenergic blocking drugs add to the blood pressure-lowering effects of fenoldopam.

With concomitant use of clonidine (Catapres) and beta-adrenergic blocking drugs, severe high blood pressure may occur if patients abruptly discontinue the clonidine. Because of this effect, it is advisable to discontinue beta-adrenergic blocking drugs prior to starting clonidine.

Using epinephrine (Adrenalin, EpiPen) and beta-adrenergic blocking drugs together causes high blood pressure and a slow heartbeat since the beta-adrenergic stimulating effects of epinephrine that raise blood pressure and heart rate are exaggerated by the beta-adrenergic blocking drugs which prevent dilation of the blood vessels and increase the heart rate. To avoid this effect, it is best not to use both drugs together. If, however, both drugs are administered together, it is important to monitor blood pressure levels. Also, high blood pressure and a slow heartbeat are less likely to occur if beta-adrenergic blocking drugs that are selective for the heart such as atenolol (Tenormin) and acebutolol (Sectral) are used.

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