sotalol - oral, Betapace, Betapace AF (cont.)
PRECAUTIONS: See also Warning section.Before taking sotalol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain heart rhythm problems (such as a slow heartbeat, second- or third-degree atrioventricular block unless you have a heart pacemaker), severe heart failure, breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema).Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, treated stable heart failure, very recent heart attack (within 2 weeks), other irregular heartbeat problems (such as sick sinus syndrome), overactive thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism), serious allergic reactions needing treatment with epinephrine.Sotalol may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation in the EKG). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that require immediate medical attention. The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may affect the heart rhythm (see also Drug Interactions section). Before using sotalol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, history of torsade de pointes), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills"), if you are unable to eat or drink fluids as you normally would, or if you have conditions such as severe/prolonged sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using sotalol safely.If you have diabetes, this product may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of a low blood sugar level, such as dizziness and sweating, are unaffected by this drug. This product may also make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your diabetes medication or diet may need to be adjusted.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, including dizziness and tiredness.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding.
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