Sotalol, also known and sold under the trade names of Betapace, Betapace AF, Sorine, and Sotylize. This product is used in the treatment of serious (possibly life-threatening) heart rhythm problem, known as ventricular arrhythmia. It is also used to treat certain fast/irregular heartbeats in patients with severe symptoms such as weakness and shortness of breath.
Sotalol helps by decreasing these symptoms, slowing the heart rhythm until the heart starts beating with normal speed and regular number of heartbeats. This product is a beta-blocker as well as an anti-arrhythmic. It is available both in the forms of tablet and solution.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before the decision to start the treatment with this product, it is important to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as the possible side effects and potential risks. In the decision-making process the most important thing is for the beneficial effects to outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make.
During the consultations with your doctor, it is essential to inform the doctor about:
Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reaction to any kind of medication, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within pediatric patients. Because of this, the beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks in order for this medication to be prescribed.
Geriatric – Proper studies done confirm that there are no age-connected problems when this medication is used within geriatric patients. However, because of the increased risk of kidney failure within geriatric patients, when this medication is used it is required extra caution.
Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. It is unknown if this medication could harm the infant. Because of this, it should be used only if the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within nursing mothers. It is unknown if this medication is extracted in the milk, as well as how would it affect the infant. Because of this, it should be used only if the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are using any other medication, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications should not be used in a combination with others. But, the doctor sometimes could prescribe a certain combination including two or more medications if he or she would consider that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medications should not be used in a combination with certain type of food, and/or tobacco and/or alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet, and/or discontinue your use of tobacco and/or alcohol.
Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past, or present at the moment. Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of following conditions present – angina, bronchospasm, heart attack, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, hypomagnesemia, hypotension, asthma, bradycardia, cardiogenic shock, heart block, heart failure, hypokalemia, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, kidney disease, or lung disease.
3 Proper Usage
For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medication is taken orally, with water. If you are using the liquid form of this medicine, make sure to measure the right dose with a proper measuring spoon/device.
The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your weight, condition and the prognosis of the treatment. The usual dose is one tablet, twice a day. It is important to take it as prescribed. Remember to take it regularly.
If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not double to catch up. If overdose is suspected, inform the doctor for further directions.
4 Precautions to Take
Visit your doctor at your scheduled appointments so that he or she would be able to track your condition and make any adjustments if necessary. These adjustments may refer to the dose – the doctor may decide to increase or decrease it, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue your treatment with this product if there are any serious side effects present.
Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medication, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this medication may contain inactive substances that could cause interactions to occur.
Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. If you are currently pregnant, the doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication because of the lack of studies that confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy.
The doctor will probably advise you to start using a proven form of birth control, to help prevent pregnancy. Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.
This is important because this medication should not be used within nursing mothers, because of the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medicine to be used within nursing mothers.
This product may cause dizziness to appear. Avoid driving or any other activities that require alertness.
5 Potential Side Effects
Along with its expected beneficial effects, this medication can cause certain side effects to appear. These side effects do not appear within all patients, also the side effects could be mild or more serious.
However, it is essential that you get informed about the potential side effects, so that you would be able to recognize their presence and inform the doctor for further directions.
Common side effects – tiredness, slow heartbeat, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, or decrease sexual ability. These are common side effects that are not consider to be serious, but if they persist or worsen, inform the doctor.
Serious side effects – new or worsening heart failure symptoms, e.g. swelling of the ankles/feet, severe tiredness, shortness of breath, unexplained/sudden weight gain), also any symptoms like – severe dizziness, fainting, or sudden changes of heartbeat. If you notice any of these side effects, inform the doctor right away.
A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is not common, but if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor as soon as possible – skin rash, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, or swelling/itching of the hands, feet, face, tongue.
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