1 What is Sectral?

Brand: Sectral

Generic: Acebutolol hydrochloride

Sectral is a drug which is used to lower blood pressure, either alone or when used with other drugs. Hypertension (high blood pressure) increases the pressure on heart and arteries which may lead to damage to the heart, brain or kidneys. Proper control of the blood pressure may help in avoiding such calamities. It belongs to a group of medications called beta blockers which block the signals from the nervous system and slow down the heart rate.

Sectral is also used in the treatment of heart rhythm problems. It is a prescription drug available in the form of tablet and capsule.

2 What to Know Before Using

Only use Spectral as instructed by the doctor. Sectral can cause life-threatening side effects if not used properly. Before taking Sectral, make sure to consuder the following first:


Mention all allergies or history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal product before taking Sectral.

Medical conditions

Although the doctor will perform examinations before giving Sectral, it is important to mention all your health conditions as well. You cannot take Sectral if you have the following conditions:

  • 2nd or 3rd degree AV block
  • Severe heart failure
  • Slow heart rate and history of fainting

Make sure the doctor know if you have the following health problems before starting on Sectral:

  • Hardened arteries (coronary heart disease)
  • Peripheral vascular diseases like Buerger’s disease and Raynaud’s disease
  • Previously having heart failure
  • If you are taking Digoxin or water pills like Hydrochlorothiazide for heart disease
  • Breathing disorders such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or sleep apnea
  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • Diseases in the kidneys or liver
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Allergies


There is lack of studies about the effects of Sectral on children.


Studies on elderly patients do not suggest any additional risk of Sectral to this age group. However, old patients are at more risk of age-related kidney, heart and liver failure. Therefore, use Sectral with caution in elderly.


Studies in pregnant women show revealed that Sectral may not be harmful to the fetus. However, pregnant patients must talk to their doctor first before taking Sectral.


Studies in breastfeeding women show that Sectral can be expressed through breast milk. Do not breastfeed when taking Sectral to avoid harm to the baby.

Alcohol and tobacco use

Alcohol and tobacco may change the way Sectral works on the body, and its best to avoid them while taking the drug. Alcohol may enhance the effect of Sectral and may cause dangerously low blood pressure levels. Tobacco may increase blood pressure and counteract with effect of Sectral, so do not smoke or use tobacco products. 

Drug interactions

Sectral may interact with certain drugs. To avoid interactions, your doctor may need to adjust doses. Call your doctor if you are taking the following drugs:

  • Amiodarone
  • Clonidine
  • Crizotinib
  • Diltiazem
  • Dronedarone
  • Fenoldopam,
  • Fingolimod
  • Lacosamide
  • Rivastigmine
  • Verapami
  • NSAIDs like Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, or Naproxen
  • Oral anti-diabetic agents
  • Insulin 

3 Proper Usage

The doctor will give you dosing instructions on taking Sectral and may change the dose from time to time. Only take Sectral as instructed, and do not take them longer than recommended.  

You can take Sectral with or without food. Always take Sectral at the same time every day for best results.

It is important to check your blood pressure frequently while you are receiving Sectral. If you are not feeling anything and your blood pressure is low, continue taking Sectral unless the doctor tells you not to. Do not stop taking Sectral suddenly because it may cause rise in blood pressure levels.

Note that you must still stick to diet restrictions and do exercise while taking Sectral to control your blood pressure.

If you missed a dose of Sectral, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to original dosing. Never take two doses of Sectral at once.

You can overdose on Sectral if you took too much of the drug. Overdose symptoms include slowed heartbeat, trouble breathing, severe dizziness, fainting, and convulsions. If you took too much Sectral, call emergency services for help.

Keep Sectral away from heat, moisture and light. 

4 Precautions to Take

Sectral may cause drowsiness and reduced reaction times, so do not drive or operate heavy machinery after taking the drug.  

Observe the following precautions when receiving Sectral. You must have regular visits to the doctor while taking Sectral to keep an eye on your condition and monitor for side effects.

Do not drink alcohol while you are on Sectral. Alcohol may further lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Tobacco may make Sectral less effective, so avoid or quit smoking.

Note that certain medicines for colds and flu may make your blood pressure rise up to dangerous levels. Avoid decongestants, colds, or cough medicines while taking Sectral.

If you will have surgery, call your doctor so you can stop taking Sectral. Make sure your surgeon knows you are on Sectral.

Sectral may lower blood sugar levels, so check them frequently.

Avoid taking other medicines while on Sectral unless prescribed by the doctor. 

5 Potential Side Effects

Sectral may cause side effects, some of which require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor if you experienced the following while using Sectral:

  • Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, itching, trouble breathing, swelling of the nose, mouth, tongue, or throat.
  • Severe high blood pressure symptoms such as severe headache, blurring of vision, pounding sensation in the neck or ears, nosebleed, anxiety, confusion, and shortness of breath
  • Noticeably slow heartbeat
  • New or worsened chest pain
  • Lightheadedness and fainting

Some side effects associated with Sectral are minor and not harmful to the health:

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