Sotalol – Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More
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This medication is prescribed to patients who have been diagnosed with sustained ventricular tachycardia, a serious and potentially life-threatening form of rapid heartbeat. It is also used to treat certain fast/irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation/flutter) in individuals who have significant symptoms such as weakness and shortness of breath. Specifically, it is used to treat patients with atrial fibrillation/flutter. These symptoms can be lessened with the use of sotalol. It helps the heart beat more normally and regularly, as well as reduces the rate at which it beats overall. This drug works to prevent irregular heartbeats by acting as both a beta blocker and an anti-arrhythmic.
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Instructions for Taking Sotalol
Please also see the section labeled Warning.
Before beginning to use sotalol and whenever you get a refill for an existing prescription, make sure to read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist. If you have any questions, you should consult with either your physician or your pharmacist.
You should take this medication orally as advised by your physician, which is often anywhere from one to three times each day. It is up to you whether you take it with or without food, but it is imperative that you choose one method and stick to it for each and every dose.
If you are taking this medication in liquid form, you will need to measure the dose with a special measuring device or spoon to ensure accurate dosing. You should not use a regular spoon because you run the risk of not getting the right amount.
Your current health status and how you respond to treatment will determine the appropriate dosage for you. When it comes to children, the dosage is determined not only by age but also by body size.
Make sure you take this medication as directed for it to have the desired effect. Take it at the same time(s) every day so that you won’t forget when to take it.
If you take antacids regularly and any of them contain aluminum or magnesium, you should avoid taking sotalol at the same time. Antacids like these can bind to sotalol, which reduces the drug’s ability to be absorbed and therefore its efficacy. To lessen the likelihood of this interaction occurring, space out your doses of these antacids and sotalol by at least two hours.
Do not take a higher dose of this medication than what is recommended because doing so can increase your risk of side effects, one of which is a new and potentially life-threatening abnormal heartbeat. If your doctor has not instructed you otherwise, you should not take a smaller dose of this medication or skip any doses. If you do not take sotalol in the correct manner, you will have a greater chance of experiencing a return of your fast or irregular heartbeat. In addition to that, make sure you have plenty of this medication. If you want to prevent having to go without your medication, make sure you place your refill order many days in advance.
If your situation does not improve or if it gets worse, you should let your doctor know.
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It is possible that you will have fatigue, a slow heartbeat, and dizziness. Headaches, diarrhea, and a reduction in sexual ability are examples of adverse effects that occur less frequently. Notify your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if any of these side effects continue or become worse.
When rising from a seated or laying position, make sure to rise carefully to reduce the likelihood of experiencing dizziness and lightheadedness.
Keep in mind that the reason your doctor has recommended that you take this medication is that he or she believes that the potential benefits to you outweigh the potential risks of doing so. The majority of persons who take this medicine do not report experiencing any severe adverse effects.
Notify your physician as soon as possible if you experience any serious adverse effects, such as new or worsening signs of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swollen ankles/feet, unusual weariness, and unusual or abrupt weight gain).
Get medical care as soon as possible if you experience any very serious side effects, such as severe dizziness, fainting, a rapid change in heartbeat (unusually faster/slower/more irregular), and chest/jaw/left arm discomfort. These symptoms indicate that you may need immediate medical attention.
It is quite unusual for this medicine to cause an extremely severe allergic reaction. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you detect any symptoms of a significant allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), extreme dizziness, or difficulty breathing. These symptoms may indicate anaphylaxis.
This list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive in any way. Please consult your physician or pharmacist if you have any side effects that are not listed above.
In the United States, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit their website at www.fda.gov/medwatch to report any adverse effects.
In Canada, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 to report any adverse effects you experience.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to sotalol, as well as if you have any additional allergies, before beginning treatment with the medication. There is a possibility that this product contains inactive substances, which, if present, could result in allergic responses or other complications. Discuss the matter further with your pharmacist for further information.
Before using this medication, it is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have a history of certain heart rhythm problems (such as a slow heartbeat, sick sinus syndrome, second- or third-degree atrioventricular block unless you have a heart pacemaker), kidney problems, heart failure, breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema), a very recent heart attack (within the past two weeks), overactive
There is a possibility that sotalol will induce a disorder that disrupts the normal rhythm of the heart (QT prolongation in the EKG). Rarely, a QT prolongation can produce a dangerous (and in extremely rare cases, fatal) fast or irregular heartbeat, in addition to other symptoms (such as severe dizziness and fainting) that require immediate medical attention.
If you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that can cause QT prolongation, your risk of developing the condition may be enhanced. Inform your physician or pharmacist of all the medications you are currently taking, as well as if you have any of the following conditions, prior to beginning treatment with sotalol: certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, history of torsade de pointes), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Your chance of having your QT interval becomes prolonged may also be increased if your blood potassium or magnesium levels are low. If you are unable to eat or drink fluids as you typically would or if you have symptoms such as intense or persistent sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting, your risk may be increased. Certain treatments, such as diuretics or “water pills,” may raise this risk. Discuss the safe use of sotalol with your attending physician.
If you have diabetes, this product has the potential to hide the rapid and pounding heartbeat that you would normally experience when your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia). This medication has no effect on the other signs and symptoms of low blood sugar, such as lightheadedness and perspiration. This product may also make it more difficult for you to maintain adequate control of your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar on a regular basis as instructed by your doctor, and then discuss the results with them. If you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as excessive thirst or urine, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. It’s possible that your diabetic medication, exercise routine, or diet will need some tweaking from your doctor.
Children may be at a greater risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), particularly if they are vomiting or are not eating regularly. This increases the likelihood that the child may develop the condition. Maintaining a consistent eating routine can assist in warding off hypoglycemia in youngsters. Stop giving this medication to your kid immediately and inform their doctor if they are unable to eat normally, are throwing up, or are exhibiting symptoms of low blood sugar (such as sweating or convulsions).
Inform your surgeon or dentist that you will be taking this medicine before you have any kind of procedure done.
This medication could cause you to feel lightheaded. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you dizzier. Do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle, operate any machinery, or engage in any activity that requires attentiveness until you are able to do it safely. Reduce your intake of alcoholic beverages. If you are a marijuana user, you should consult your primary care physician (cannabis).
It is possible that older persons will be more vulnerable to the adverse effects of this medication, particularly the QT prolongation, dizziness, and fatigue (see above).
During pregnancy, it is important to only use this drug when it is absolutely necessary. It could cause harm to an unborn child. Talk to your healthcare provider about the potential drawbacks and advantages.
This medicine is excreted into breast milk and may have unintended consequences for an infant who is being breastfed. Before you start breastfeeding, you and your doctor should go over the potential benefits and dangers.
Interactions between drugs might alter the way in which they perform or raise the possibility that you will have major adverse effects. This document does not contain all possible medication interactions. Maintain a list of all the goods you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies, and give it to both your primary care physician and your pharmacist. Without first consulting your physician, you should never alter the dosage of any medication, stop taking any medication, or start taking any new medication.
Fingolimod is a product that should be considered a potential interaction partner for this medication.
In addition to sotalol, a wide variety of other medications, such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, and macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin and erythromycin), have also been shown to cause QT prolongation in an electrocardiogram (ECG).
There are several products on the market that contain components that could speed up your heart rate. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using and ask for instructions on how to use them safely. This is especially important for over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen.
This medicine has the potential to interact with a variety of medical and laboratory procedures, which could lead to inaccurate results. Ensure that the employees in the laboratory and all of your doctors are aware that you are using this medication.
Dial 911 if you suspect that someone has overdosed and they are exhibiting serious symptoms such as passing out or having problems breathing. In any other case, you should immediately contact a poison control center. To reach the poison control center for your area in the United States, dial 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents can call a provincial poison control center. Some of the signs and symptoms of an overdose include extreme dizziness, fainting, an abnormally slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath.
This drug should not be given to anyone else.
Tests in the laboratory and/or examinations by a doctor (such as an electrocardiogram and tests of renal function) should be carried out on a regular basis in order to track your improvement and identify any potential adverse reactions. Consult your doctor for additional details.
If you forget a medication, you should skip the dose you missed. Your next dose should be taken at the typical time. It is not necessary to double the dose in order to catch up.
Keep at room temperature and away from light and moisture. Store at room temperature. Keep away from the bathroom at all costs. Keep all medications out of the reach of children and animals.
Unless you have been specifically told to do so, you should not flush drugs down the toilet or pour them down a drain. When it is no longer needed or has passed its expiration date, dispose of this product in the appropriate manner. Talk to your neighborhood pharmacy or the firm that handles garbage disposal in your area.