Your healthcare provider will use your kidney function (measured using a blood test) as a guide to determine your starting Betapace dosage. He or she may increase this amount every three days if necessary. Most adults end up taking 240 to 320 mg per day (for ventricular arrhythmias) or 80 to 160 mg per day (for atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter).
The dose of Betapace® (sotalol hydrochloride) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The type of arrhythmia you have
- Your kidney function
- Your age
- Your height and weight (for children)
- How you respond to the medication
- Other drugs you are taking
- Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
Betapace dosing is complicated and confusing, with many different factors affecting the amount. Your kidney function must be measured (using a simple blood test) before you start taking the drug, as the kidneys remove it from the body. Your healthcare provider will use your kidney function as a guide to determining your starting dose of Betapace. Your healthcare provider may increase this every three days, if necessary, until an optimal amount is achieved.
Most adults end up taking 240 to 320 mg total per day (for ventricular arrhythmias) or 80 to 160 mg total per day (for atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter), although some people may require much higher dosages.
Once you begin taking this medication, your heart must be continuously monitored with an electrocardiogram (ECG) until three days after you have reached your steady dose. This means you must stay in a hospital or other facility that is able to provide the ECG monitoring, measure your kidney function, and handle any emergencies that arise. These precautions are necessary because Betapace may actually increase the risk of some life-threatening arrhythmias.
For children, the healthcare provider will also take into account the child's age, weight, and height, along with the kidney function, in order to determine an initial dosage.
As with all beta blockers, you should not abruptly stop taking Betapace, as serious problems (including heart attacks) may result. Your healthcare provider will advise you about how to safely stop taking this medication. People are generally advised to slowly reduce the dose over a period of time, with careful monitoring, and to minimize physical activity during this period. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop chest pain or any other problems while stopping treatment.