Betapace (Sotalol) Dosage and Side Effects
BETAPACE is used to treat a serious irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
Warnings and Precautions
BETAPACE contains a black-box warning because it could cause a new or worsened irregular heartbeat that may be life-threatening.
For the first three days of treatment, you'll receive your BETAPACE doses in a medical facility where your heart rhythm can be monitored.
BETAPACE is manufactured under two different brand names, Betapace and Betapace AF. These medicines are used for different types of irregular heartbeats and shouldn't be taken interchangeably.
Don't change your brand of BETAPACE without first talking to your physician.
Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:
- Kidney disease
- Prolonged QT interval or long QT syndrome (heart rhythm disorders)
- Heart disease or heart failure
- Liver disease
- Asthma or other lung disease
- Severe allergies or allergies to medicines
- Low blood potassium or magnesium levels
- An overactive thyroid
- A tumor on your adrenal gland
- Low blood pressure
- Blood vessel disease
BETAPACE controls your irregular heartbeat, but it won't cure your condition. Continue to take this drug even if you feel well.
Don't stop taking BETAPACE without first talking to your physician. Stopping the medicine abruptly may cause chest pain or a heart attack.
If you have diabetes, BETAPACE may affect your blood sugar levels. Check your levels often, and talk to your doctor before changing any doses of your diabetes medicines.
Tell your healthcare provider you're taking BETAPACE before having any type of surgery, including a dental procedure.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory while taking BETAPACE. Your doctor will probably want to check your blood pressure and pulse rate often.
Pregnancy and BETAPACE
This drug isn't likely to harm an unborn baby.
However, talk to your doctor if you're pregnant or might become pregnant before taking BETAPACE.
BETAPACE is found in breast milk. Don't breastfeed while taking this medicine.
Common Side Effects of BETAPACE
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don't go away:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea
- Muscle aches
Serious Side Effects of BETAPACE
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Swelling of the feet and lower legs
- An irregular heartbeat that is new or worse
- Sudden, unexplained weight gain
- Unusual sweating
- Signs of an allergic reaction, which may include rash, hives, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
Interactions with this medication
Tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking before taking BETAPACE, especially:
- Medications for migraine headaches, diabetes, asthma, allergies, colds, or pain
- Other drugs for high blood pressure or heart disease
- Salt substitutes containing potassium
- Serpalan or Serpasil (reserpine)
Take any Maalox or Mylanta (aluminum or magnesium-containing antacids) at least two hours before or after your dose of BETAPACE.
BETAPACE and Other Interactions
BETAPACE may cause drowsiness.
Don't drive a car or operate machinery until you know how the medicine affects you.
BETAPACE and Alcohol
Alcohol may make you drowsier while taking BETAPACE.
Talk to your physician before consuming alcohol while taking this drug.
Proper Use of this medication
BETAPACE comes as a tablet to take by mouth. Try to take the medicine around the same time each day.
Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Don't take more or less of the drug than is prescribed.
BETAPACE as Betapace is typically taken twice a day.
BETAPACE as Betapace AF is usually taken once or twice a day on an empty stomach.
Symptoms of a BETAPACE overdose may include:
- Dizziness or fainting
- Shortness of breath
- An unusually slow, fast, or more irregular heartbeat
If you suspect an overdose, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.
You can get in touch with a poison control center at 800-222-1222.
Missed Dose of BETAPACE
If you miss a dose of BETAPACE, take it as soon as you remember.
However, skip the missed dose if it's almost time for your next scheduled dose.
Don't take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.