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  • Generic Name: (acebutolol hydrochloride)
    Other Brands: Sectral
  • Last Revised: 09/2013
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Sectral is a medicine known as a beta-blocker, which is used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat high blood pressure and arrhythmias (life-threatening irregular heartbeats).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Sectral works by decreasing your heart rate, and relaxing and widening your blood vessels, allowing your blood to flow through with less resistance. This helps to lower your blood pressure.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What:

      High Blood Pressure: By lowering your blood pressure, Sectral may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

      Arrhythmias: Sectral may help your heart beat normally.

      When: Sectral may start lowering your heart rate and blood pressure within a few hours of taking it. Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.

      How do I know it is working?

      Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider will also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: fatigue, dizziness.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Breathing problems or worsened heart failure with symptoms such as weight gain, increased shortness of breath, or a slow heartbeat.

      Sectral may hide symptoms of low blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Sectral if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Sectral if you have certain heart problems (such as heart failure, a slow heartbeat, or your heart skips a beat).

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Sectral. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have lung problems (such as bronchitis or emphysema); problems with blood flow in your feet and legs; diabetes; kidney, liver, or thyroid problems; or if you are scheduled for surgery.

      Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to any allergens, because Sectral may decrease the effectiveness of epinephrine, a medicine used to treat such reactions.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      High Blood Pressure

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 400 milligrams (mg) a day, taken once a day or in divided doses.

      Arrhythmias

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 200 mg twice a day.

      Your healthcare provider may increase your dose as needed until the desired effect is achieved.

      It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Sectral exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Sectral without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not take medicines that contain nasal decongestants (such as over-the-counter cold medicines or nasal sprays) without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Sectral is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Sectral with the following: certain over-the-counter cold medicines and nasal sprays, digoxin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or indomethacin), or reserpine.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Sectral during pregnancy are unknown. Sectral can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Sectral. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Sectral, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
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