Over four million Americans suffer from bothersome or dangerous heart arrhythmia. This can mean fluttering heartbeats, skipped heartbeats, or racing heartbeats.

Some people may experience heart arrhythmia with no adverse effects. But for those that do, they are at risk of fainting, or even loss of heart function that can lead to death.

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Thankfully, there are prescription medications to help these people. One of these medications is Sotalol.

If you or a loved one are considering a prescription, make sure you have all of the available information first. Keep reading to learn about what this medication is, how it works, and lots more!

What Is Sotalol?

So, what is this drug, exactly?

It’s a medication that treats heart arrhythmia, which has been available commercially since the 1980’s. It comes in a capsule-shaped, white tablet form that is ingested twice a day, with or without food.

Inside these tablets is Sotalol hydrochloride, a crystalline, white-colored solid. It must be taken the same way each day.

Brand names include Betapace, Sotylize, and Sorine. These brands each hold a different amount of milligrams per tablet.

Generally, a person will begin to take this medication at about 40mg per day, but this amount can be increased to up to 160mg per day if needed. By starting at a low dose the chances of adverse side effects are decreased, as the body will slowly begin to adjust to the medication.

Injection forms of this drug are used only for emergencies in professional medical settings. This comes in the form of a 10mg/ml injection.

How Does It Work?

Curious how exactly this medication gets the job done? Let’s dive in.

This drug effectively controls a person’s heart rhythm by upping the refractory period. It also blocks the heart’s beta receptors, which means that it blocks adrenaline from reaching the heart. In addition, it’s also a potassium channel blocker.

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What does this do? Simply put, it slows down your heart rate, preventing it from beating too rapidly.

What Are the Side Effects?

Let’s check out both the short-term and long-term side effects of this medication.

Short-Term

Since this drug slows down your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure, it can cause tiredness and dizziness. It can also cause sexual inability, diarrhea, or headache.

Long-Term

The only long-term effects of this drug would occur if you already have poor kidney function, as the medicine does travel through your kidney. Those with kidney issues can still ingest this medicine, simply at an adjusted dosage.

Is It Expensive?

Sotalol comes at a variety of prices depending on the brand and pharmacy. It’s usually around $1.00 or less per pill.

Click here to view a full list of prices.

Wrapping Up

Sotalol is a very helpful drug that aids those affected by heart arrhythmia. It works by acting as a beta blocker and potassium channel blocker, which in turn allows the heart rate to slow down to a normal resting rate.

Its side effects are few and very mild, leading it to be considered a very low-risk medicine. Caution should be used for those with kidney problems.

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