Betapace contains sotalol hydrochloride. It is an antiarrhythmic drug which possesses properties of classes II (beta-adrenoreceptor blocking) and III (cardiac action potential duration prolongation). Betapace is used to treat many forms of supraventricular arrhythmias, and in particular it has advantage over other beta-blockers in treatment of atrial fibrillation (chaotic contractions) fibrillation, atrial flutter (frequent rhythmic constructions). Supraventricular tachycardia (heart rhythm disorder), including Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (congenital heart disease characterized by recurrent disorders of heart rhythm and rate) paroxysmal form of atrial fluttering, ventricular tachycardia.
Dosage and direction
The recommended starting dose is 0.04-0.08 g taken 2-3 times daily. If necessary the dose may be increased up to 0.16 g taken 2-3 times daily. Take it orally with a full glass of water before a meal but do not chew the medication.
Betapace should be used with cautiousness in the patients with recent myocardial infarction. Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. Discuss with your doctor if you have bronchitis or emphysema, a heart disease or congestive heart failure in history, diabetes, kidney disease, a thyroid disorder, a recent heart attack.
Chronic heart failure, cardiogenic shock, atrioventricular block (disorders of conduction of excitation in conduction system of the heart), arterial hypotension (low blood pressure), sick sinus syndrome, bradycardia, elongated QT interval on the electrocardiogram, hypokalemia (decreased potassium levels in the blood), obliterative artery diseases, obstructive pulmonary disease, metabolic acidosis, hypersensitivity to the components of the drug. Caution must be exercised in the appointment of sotalol patients with recent myocardial infarction.
Possible side effect
Side effects of Betapace are associated with its property to block beta-adrenoreceptors. Sinus bradycardia (rare heart rate) was reported in 9-11% of patients together with symptoms of heart failure. You may experience these such effects: lightheadedness, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, stomach upset, or blurred vision, cough, trouble sleeping, reduced concentration, dry skin, decreased sexual desire, altered taste, or muscle aches. Notify your doctor if the adverse reactions listed above and also if the following adverse reactions aggravate: mental confusion, trouble urinating, easy bruising or bleeding, chest pain, skin rash, sore throat, breathing trouble, fainting, irregular heartbeat.
Inform your doctor about all prescribed and over-the-counter medicines and herbal products you are taking and especially about: medication for blood pressure (clonidine), antacids, St John's wort, anti-diabetic drugs, calcium channel blockers (verapamil, diltiazem), arbutamine, aspirin/NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen), drugs which may change heart rhythm such as "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide), quinidine, procainamide, sparfloxacin, dofetilide, pimozide. Follow all directions of your doctor and avoid taking medication for allergies or cough or colds without his permission.
Never take a double dose of this medication. If it is almost time of the next dose just skip the missed portion and continue to take the medicine according to the schedule.
Symptoms of overdose may include chest pain, swelling, hunger, slow or fast heartbeats, shortness of breath, weakness, confusion, seizure, sweating, feeling light-headed, fainting.
Betapace should be stored at room temperature between 15-30 C (59-86 F).
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