What is sotalol?
Sotalol is in a group of drugs called beta-blockers. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).
Sotalol 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). Sotalol is used in people with ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.
Another form of this medicine, called Sotalol AF, is used to treat heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart). Sotalol AF is used in people with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Sotalol (Betapace and Sorine) is not used for the same conditions that sotalol AF (Betapace AF) is used for.
Sotalol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about sotalol?
You will receive your first few doses of sotalol in a hospital setting where your heart rhythm can be monitored, in case the medication causes serious side effects.
If there are any changes in the brand or strength of sotalol you use, your dosage needs may change. Betapace and Sorine are not used for the same conditions that Betapace AF is used for. Always check your medicine when it is refilled to make sure you have received the correct brand and type as prescribed by your doctor. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine given to you at the pharmacy.
Do not skip doses or stop taking sotalol without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
If you need to have any type of surgery, you may need to temporarily stop using sotalol. Be sure the surgeon knows ahead of time that you are using sotalol.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking sotalol?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to sotalol, or if you have:
certain heart conditions, especially "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
a history of "Long QT syndrome"; or
severe or uncontrolled congestive heart failure.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take sotalol:
breathing problems such as bronchitis or emphysema;
a history of heart disease or congestive heart failure;
a thyroid disorder;
an electrolyte imbalance such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood; or
if you have recently had a heart attack.
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Sotalol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.