Betapace is in a group of drugs called beta-blockers. It work by slowing down the heart rate and increases the amount of time that a certain area of the heart is not responsive to an electrical signal and by blocking potassium channels in the heart. Betapace is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with certain heart rhythm disorders of the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow out of the heart). It is used in people with ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.
Take Betapace exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The recommended dose for treatment of ventricular arrhythmias is 240 to 320 mg total per day and for atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter - 80 to 160 mg total per day. It is usually taken by mouth one to three times a day. Take it at the same times each day. You can take it either with a meal or on an empty stomach. If you use antacids, do not take them at the same time as sotalol.
Before taking Betapace you should talk with your doctor if you have severe or prolonged diarrhea or vomiting, low electrolytes (low potassium levels), long QT syndrome, peripheral artery disease, kidney disease, kidney failure, diabetes, chest pain (angina), heart failure, sick sinus syndrome, slow heart rate (bradycardia), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, overactive thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism), upcoming surgery, any allergies. This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive or perform tasks that require alertness. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug. Do not take an antacid within 2 hours before or after taking Betapace. Antacids contain different medicines and some types can make it harder for your body to absorb sotalol.
You should not take Betapace if you have allergy to it, sotalol hydrochloride, or any of the inactive components of this medication, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, second- or third-degree heart block, very slow heart rate (bradycardia), cardiogenic shock. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Possible side effect
Get emergency medical help if you have tiredness, slow heartbeat, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, decreased sexual ability, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, unexplained weight gain, rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, throat, chest pain, unusual sweating, nausea, vomiting, sleep problems (insomnia). If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially: medicine for asthma (pirbuterol, theophylline, metaproterenol), calcium channel blockers (verapamil, felodipine, nifedipine, diltiazem), diabetes medications (chlorpropamide, metformin, glipizide, glyburide), antidepressants (imipramine, doxepin, amitriptyline, nortriptyline), phenothiazines (perphenazine, thioridazine, fluphenazine), medicines to treat psychiatric disorder (thioridazine, pimozide, haloperidol), antibiotics (clarithromycin, azithromycin, erythromycin), heart rhythm medications (disopyramide, amiodarone, quinidine, dofetilide), diuretics, reserpine, digoxin, clonidine. Interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking.
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. Skip the missed dose if it is time for your next scheduled dose. Don't take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
If you think you have overdosed the medicine seek emergency medical help at once. The overdose symptoms are severe dizziness, fainting, slow or fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling, hunger, weakness, confusion, seizure.
Store the medicine at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store the drugs in the bathroom. Keep all drugs away from reach of children and pets.
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