Sotalol is a medication used to treat irregular heart rhythm disorders known as heart arrhythmias, fibrillation, tachycardia, etc. It is a beta-adrenergic blocker and acts by reducing adrenergic (sympathetic) activity, which causes a reduction in the rate and contractility of the heart.
Its unique antiarrhythmic activity is used in cases of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias.
It is also known as Betapace. It has potential side effects, thus used only in several abnormal arrhythmias.
Sotalol is majorly used to treat abnormal heart rhythms that originally start in the ventricles called ventricular arrhythmias.
It is used to treat atrial fibrillation, where a fast heart rate leads to poor blood flow.
A notable use of Sotalol is that it treats ventricular arrhythmias, which are refractory to other medications.
It is also helpful in the treatment of atrial flutters and supraventricular tachycardia by making the heartbeat invariable and normal.
The noted adverse effects of Sotalol include dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, Swelling in lower limbs, severe weakness or weight gain, diarrhea, constipation, difficulty in breathing, muscle pain, fever, or chills.
1. Does Sotalol lower blood pressure?
Yes. Sotalol should be precariously used with medicines for high blood pressure, such as diltiazem or verapamil.
It should not be advised to patients with severe hypotension or cases where it can worsen the condition of the patient.
Your doctor may instruct you to stop taking Sotalol before surgery. This is because Sotalol lowers your blood pressure too much when it's administered with specific anesthetics.
2. How long does Sotalol stay in your system?
It takes about 4 days for the drug to completely stop acting if you stop taking it. The elimination half-life of the drug is approximately 10-20 hours.
3. Is Sotalol a beta-blocker?
Yes. Sotalol is a non-selective beta-blocker and acts on both beta-1 and beta-2 adrenergic receptors, leading to inhibition of their sympathetic activity. Beta-1 adrenergic blocker activity decreases the heart rate and contractions in the heart.
Beta-2 blocker activity affects the resistance of blood vessels and can also cause bronchospasm and reduction in blood sugar levels.
4. How effective is Sotalol?
Sotalol is specified for tachydysrhythmias that are difficult to control.
Sotalol is adequately absorbed when you take it orally and has a bioavailability of nearly 100%. Sotalol is helpful in supraventricular arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Sotalol is a safe and effective drug for the control of heart rate if you're a digitalized patient with atrial fibrillation. It is more beneficial than metoprolol, with better rate control while doing daily chores.
5. Is Sotalol a high-risk medication?
Sotalol might cause ventricular tachycardia associated with QT interval prolongation, which can be fatal or lead to other side effects such as dizziness or loss of consciousness. These conditions will need immediate medical intervention. If the QT interval is increased to suspicious length, your doctor might reduce the dose, lengthen the dosing interval, or discontinue the drug.
6. Is Sotalol safe to take long-term?
Yes. Sotalol is a crucial drug for long-term therapy of patients with refractory ventricular arrhythmias. You are likely to respond to long-term therapy as it is well-tolerated, with rare withdrawal cases or fatalities. However, the side effects have a high incidence rate.
7. Which is better, Sotalol or Metoprolol?
Sotalol is a non-selective beta-adrenergic blocker, while Metoprolol is a selective beta-blocker. This is the reason for the use of Metoprolol in the treatment of hypertension, chest pain, and heart attack.
Sotalol is helpful in supraventricular arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Sotalol is a safe and effective drug for the control of heart rate if you're a digitalized patient with atrial fibrillation.
For heart rate control, Sotalol is more beneficial than Metoprolol, with better rate control while doing daily chores.
8. What can you not take with Sotalol?
Sotalol may show drug interactions with amiodarone, methyldopa, amlodipine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, clozapine, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, erythromycin, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, beta-agonists, tricyclic antidepressants, and antacids containing aluminum or magnesium.
Alcohol should not be consumed while on Sotalol therapy due to the high risk of hypotension.
9. Can pregnant women take Sotalol?
Sotalol should be used in pregnancy only if your doctor confirms benefits with fewer chances of risk. This is because, during your late pregnancy, Sotalol can be a potential risk to the fetus by decreasing placental perfusion (resulting in the death of the fetus and premature birth), decreased heart rate in the fetus and neonate, and low blood sugar.
10. Can I take Sotalol while breastfeeding?
Sotalol is not usually recommended while breastfeeding as it is excreted in high amounts into breast milk, which can lead to low blood pressure, low heart rate, and tachypnea in the infant. Propranolol, metoprolol, and labetalol are excreted in lesser quantities and are friendly with breastfeeding even in compromised infants.
Consult our experts for further information on Sotalol.
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