sotalol - oral, Betapace, Betapace AF (cont.)
USES: This medication is used to treat a serious (possibly life-threatening) type of fast heartbeat called sustained ventricular tachycardia. It is also used to treat certain fast/irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation/flutter) in patients with severe symptoms such as weakness and shortness of breath. Sotalol helps to lessen these symptoms. It slows the heart rate and helps the heart to beat more normally and regularly. This medication is both a beta blocker and an anti-arrhythmic.
HOW TO USE: See also Warning section.Read the Patient Information Leaflet (provided by your pharmacist for some sotalol products used to treat atrial fibrillation/flutter) before you start using sotalol and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth, usually twice a day or as directed by your doctor. You may take it with or without food, but it is important to choose one way and take it the same way with each dose.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, dosage is also based on age, height, and weight.Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.If you use antacids containing aluminum or magnesium, do not take them at the same time as sotalol. These antacids can bind to sotalol and decrease its absorption and effectiveness. Separate doses of these antacids and sotalol by at least 2 hours to reduce this interaction.Do not take more of this drug than prescribed because you may increase your risk of side effects, including a new serious abnormal heartbeat. Do not take less of this medication or skip doses unless directed by your doctor. Your fast/irregular heartbeat is more likely to return if you do not take sotalol properly. Also, do not run out of this medication. Order your refills several days early to avoid running out of pills.Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Tiredness, slow heartbeat, and dizziness may occur. Less common side effects include headache, diarrhea, and decreased sexual ability. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.To lower your risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as swelling ankles/feet, severe tiredness, shortness of breath, unexplained/sudden weight gain).Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: severe dizziness, fainting, sudden change in heartbeat (unusually faster/slower/more irregular), chest/jaw/left arm pain.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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