Sotalol / Betapace

What are the important points to remember about BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)?

Take your medicine every day as prescribed. Do not miss doses or take extra doses. Call your doctor right away if you feel new fast heartbeats with lightheadedness and fainting. These can be serious and in rare instances can even cause death. Do not take BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL) if you have serious kidney problems, lung disease causing shortness of breath, symptoms of heart failure. Tell your doctor and pharmacist the name of all medications (prescription, non-prescription, and natural/herbal remedies) you are taking. Do not start taking any other medicines without telling your doctor. Go for all your regular checkups. Get your refills on time. Do not stop taking BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL) until your doctor tells you to stop.

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What are the possible side effects of BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)?

BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)’s most serious side effect, a different type of dangerous abnormal heartbeat, is discussed in “What is the most important information I should know about BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)?” Dangerous abnormal heartbeats happen rarely. But they can be serious and, in rare instances, can even cause death. BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)’s most common side effects are tiredness, slow heart rate, shortness of breath, and dizziness. BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL) can also cause other side effects. If you are concerned about these or any other side effects, ask your doctor.

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What are the possible side effects of BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)?

BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)’s most serious side effect, a different type of dangerous abnormal heartbeat, is discussed in “What is the most important information I should know about BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)?” Dangerous abnormal heartbeats happen rarely. But they can be serious and, in rare instances, can even cause death. BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL)’s most common side effects are tiredness, slow heart rate, shortness of breath, and dizziness. BETAPACE (OR SOTALOL) can also cause other side effects. If you are concerned about these or any other side effects, ask your doctor.

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How should I take BETAPACE (or SOTALOL)

Your doctor will start you on BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) in the hospital and will check your heart rhythm for the first two or more days of treatment. This will allow your doctor to find the right dose for you. Always take the exact amount your doctor prescribes. Never change your BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) dose unless your doctor tells you to. Your doctor will do regular tests to check that the amount you’re taking is still right for you. Keep taking your BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) until your doctor tells you to stop. Keep taking it even if you feel fine. However, never take an extra dose of BETAPACE AF™ even if you do not feel well. When it is time to stop taking BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) your doctor will give you instructions on how to gradually reduce your dose over a period of one to two weeks. You may take BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) with or without food. However, it is important to take BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) at the same time every day. This gives your heart a steady supply of the medicine. It might be helpful to take BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) at the same time as something you regularly do every day. If you are taking an antacid containing aluminum or magnesium to treat heartburn or upset stomach wait at least two hours after your dose of BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) before you take the antacid. Never try to make up for a missed dose of BETAPACE (or SOTALOL). You could increase your chance of getting the different type of abnormal heartbeat. If you miss taking a dose of BETAPACE (or SOTALOL), just take your normal amount at the next scheduled time. If you take more BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) than you should have, call your doctor right away. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Take your BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) tablets with you to show to the doctor or nurse.

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Who should not take BETAPACE (or SOTALOL)?

BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) is not for everyone with irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation). This is why you and your doctor need to discuss the benefits and risks of BETAPACE (or SOTALOL) and whether your symptoms are troublesome enough for you to start taking this medication.

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What is SOTALOL / BETAPACE AF?

BETAPACE AF or SOTALOL is a medicine that is given to patients with atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeats). atrial fibrillation can be changed back (converted) to normal heart rhythm by an electric shock or by using certain medicines. However, atrial fibrillation can return. BETAPACE AF (or SOTALOL) may help your heart stay beating regularly for a longer period of time.

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What are the possible side effects of sotalol?

Call your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath, fainting, become dizzy, or have fast heartbeats. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Also, call your doctor right away if you have severe diarrhea, unusual sweating, vomiting, less appetite than normal, or more thirst than normal.  you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking sotalol and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment     * an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; hives);     * wheezing or shortness of breath;     * dizziness or fainting;     * a slow or fast heartbeat;     * swelling of the feet and lower legs;     * chest (heart) pain;     * severe diarrhea;     * unusual sweating;     * vomiting;     * less appetite than normal;     * more thirst than normal;     * blue or cold feet and hands; or     * a rash. If you experience any of the following less serious side effects, continue taking sotalol and talk to your doctor:     * fatigue, weakness, or confusion;     * headache or dizziness;     * nausea;     * depression;     * insomnia (difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep);     * nightmares; or     * impotence (difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection). Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

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What should I avoid while taking sotalol?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Sotalol may cause  dizziness, and blood pressure changes. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities. Do not start to take any other prescription medicines or over-the-counter products (including vitamins, natural supplements, and natural or herbal remedies) without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

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What shall I do if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you have taken more sotalol than was prescribed. Call your doctor right away or if you cannot reach your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Symptoms of a sotalol overdose include a slow heartbeat, wheezing, shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness, weakness, and confusion.

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What shall I do if I miss a dose?

Try not to miss any doses of this medication. Missing doses could be very dangerous. If you do miss a dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication. A double dose could be dangerous.

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How should I take sotalol?

Take sotalol exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you. Take each dose with water. Sotatalol can be taken with or without food. The way you take it should be consistent. Either always take it with food or always take it without food. Try to take your doses at the same time each day. Do not skip doses, take more doses, change your dosing schedule, or stop taking sotalol without first talking to your doctor. Changing your medication schedule could make your condition worse. When it is time to stop taking sotalol, your doctor will give you instructions on how to gradually reduce your dose over a period of 1 to 2 weeks. Do not take antacids containing aluminum or magnesium (e.g., olaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, Milk of Magnesia, and others) within 2 hours of a dose of sotalol. Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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What is sotalol?

Sotalol is in a class III antiarrhythmic bedication. Sotalol is used to treat irregular heartbeat patterns. Sotalol is not appropriate for everyone with irregular heartbeats. If you have atrial fibrillation (a specific type of irregular heartbeat), you and your doctor should carefully discuss the benefits and risks of sotalol and whether your symptoms are troublesome enough for you to start taking sotalol. In some patients treated with sotalol for atrial fibrillation, sotalol may cause a different type of abnormal heartbeat that can be dangerous, and in rare instances can even cause death.

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