sotalol - oral, Betapace, Betapace AF
GENERIC NAME: SOTALOL - ORAL (SO-tuh-lol)
BRAND NAME(S): Betapace, Betapace AF
WARNING: Sotalol should be used only in certain patients. Before taking sotalol, discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor. Although sotalol is effective for treating certain types of fast/irregular heartbeats, it can infrequently cause a new serious abnormal heart rhythm (QT prolongation in the EKG). This problem can lead to a new type of abnormal (possibly fatal) heartbeat (torsade de pointes). If this new serious heart rhythm occurs, it is usually when sotalol treatment is first started or when the dose is increased. Therefore, to reduce the risk of this side effect, you should begin sotalol treatment in a hospital so your doctor can monitor your heart rhythm for several days and treat the problems if they occur. Patients usually start with a low dose of sotalol. Your doctor will then slowly increase your dose depending on how you respond to the medication and how well your kidneys work. If you respond well to this medication, during this time in the hospital your doctor can determine the right dose of sotalol for you.
Some sotalol products are used to treat certain types of fast/irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation/flutter). These products come with additional written information from the manufacturer for patients with atrial fibrillation/flutter. If you have these conditions, read the provided information carefully. Do not switch brands of sotalol without checking with your doctor.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when you suddenly stop this drug. Some people who have suddenly stopped taking similar drugs have had chest pain, heart attack, and irregular heartbeat. If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, he or she may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks.
When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop: chest pain/tightness/pressure, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, fast/irregular heartbeat.
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