Generic Betapace (Sotalol)
This medication is used to treat a serious (possibly life-threatening) type of fast heartbeat called sustained ventricular tachycardia. It is also used to treat certain fast/irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation/flutter) in patients with severe symptoms such as weakness and shortness of breath. Sotalol helps to lessen these symptoms. It slows the heart rate and helps the heart to beat more normally and regularly. This medication is both a beta blocker and an anti-arrhythmic.
WARNINGS: Sotalol should be used only in certain patients. Before taking sotalol, discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor. Although sotalol is effective for treating certain types of fast/irregular heartbeats, it can rarely cause a new serious abnormal heart rhythm (QT prolongation in the EKG). This problem can lead to a new type of abnormal (possibly fatal) heartbeat (torsade de pointes). If this new serious heart rhythm occurs, it is usually when sotalol treatment is first started or when the dose is increased. Therefore, to reduce the risk of this side effect, you should begin sotalol treatment in a hospital so your doctor can monitor your heart rhythm for several days and treat the problems if they occur. Patients usually start with a low dose of sotalol. Your doctor will then slowly increase your dose depending on how you respond to the medication and how well your kidneys work. If you respond well to this medication, during this time in the hospital your doctor can determine the right dose of sotalol for you.