Using Betapace for Ventricular Arrhythmias
Betapace is also approved for treating life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. These are irregular heart rhythms that occur in the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart). It is very important to understand that antiarrhythmic medications have not been shown to improve survival in people with ventricular arrhythmias and may sometimes actually cause life-threatening arrhythmias. This is why the medication is approved for treating only ventricular arrhythmias that are life-threatening. For cases that are not life-threatening, the risks outweigh the benefits.
Betapace belongs to two different classes of drugs; it is both a beta blocker and a Class III antiarrhythmic medication.
As a beta blocker, it slows down the heart rate and increases the amount of time that a certain area of the heart (the AV node) is not responsive to an electrical signal. This means that if an electrical signal comes too soon, which could happen with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, the signal will not pass on to the rest of the heart.
As a Class III antiarrhythmic medication, Betapace blocks potassium channels in the heart. This action helps to control an irregular heart rhythm.
Betapace is not approved for use in children, as there is not enough research to demonstrate that it is safe and effective for then. However, dosing recommendations for children are available, and the medication may be used in young patients, if necessary.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this drug for something other than the uses discussed in this article. At this time, however, there are no universally accepted off-label Betapace uses.