Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Acebutolol hydrochloride
Why is this drug prescribed: Sectral, a type of medication known as a beta blocker, is used in the treatment of high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms. When used to treat high blood pressure, it is effective used alone or in combination with other high blood pressure medications, particularly with a thiazide-type diuretic. Beta blockers decrease the force and rate of heart contractions, thus reducing pressure within the circulatory system.
Most important fact about this drug: If you have high blood pressure, you must take Sectral regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Sectral; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Sectral does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.
How should you take this medication: Sectral can be taken with or without food. Take it exactly as prescribed, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Try not to miss any doses. If this medication is not taken regularly, your condition may worsen. --If you miss a dose... Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it's within 4 hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed. Protect from light.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Sectral. More common side effects may include: Abnormal vision, chest pain, constipation, cough, decreased sexual ability, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, frequent urination, gas, headache, indigestion, joint pain, nasal inflammation, nausea, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, strange dreams, swelling due to fluid retention, trouble sleeping, weakness Less common or rare side effects may include: Abdominal pain, anxiety, back pain, burning eyes, cold hands and feet, conjunctivitis, dark urine, excessive urination at night, eye pain, fever, heart failure, impotence, itching, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, muscle pain, nervousness, painful or difficult urination, rash, slow heartbeat, throat inflammation, vomiting, wheezing
Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you have heart failure, inadequate blood supply to the circulatory system (cardiogenic shock), heart block (a type of irregular heartbeat), or a severely slow heartbeat, you should not take this medication.
Special warnings about this medication: If you have had severe congestive heart failure in the past, Sectral should be used with caution. Sectral should not be stopped suddenly. This can cause increased chest pain and heart attack. Dosage should be gradually reduced. If you suffer from asthma, seasonal allergies, other bronchial conditions, coronary artery disease, or kidney or liver disease, this medication should be used with caution. Ask your doctor if you should check your pulse while taking Sectral. This medication can cause your heartbeat to become too slow. This medication may mask the symptoms of low blood sugar or alter blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, discuss this with your doctor. Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking Sectral if you have a medical emergency, or before you have any surgery. Tell your doctor if you are taking over-the-counter cold medications and nasal drops. They may interact with Sectral. If you experience difficulty breathing, or develop hives or large areas of swelling, seek medical attention immediately. You may be having a serious allergic reaction to the medicine. Sectral can also make other severe allergies worse.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking 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 doctor before combining Sectral with the following: Albuterol (the airway-opening drug Ventolin) Certain blood pressure medicines such as reserpine (Diupres) Certain over-the-counter cold remedies and nasal drops such as Afrin, Neo-Synephrine, and Sudafed Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Voltaren Oral diabetes drugs such as Micronase
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Sectral during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Sectral appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Sectral is finished.
Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Hypertension The usual initial dose for mild to moderate high blood pressure is 400 milligrams per day. It may be taken in a single daily dose or in 2 doses of 200 milligrams each. The usual daily dosage ranges from 200 to 800 milligrams. People with severe high blood pressure may take up to 1,200 milligrams per day divided into 2 doses. Sectral may be taken alone or in combination with another high blood pressure medication. Irregular heartbeat The usual starting dosage is 400 milligrams per day divided into 2 doses. Your doctor may gradually increase the dose to 600 to 1,200 milligrams per day. If your doctor wants you to stop taking this medication, he or she will have you taper off over a period of 2 weeks. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of Sectral have not been established in children. OLDER ADULTS: Your doctor will determine the dosage based on your particular needs. Do not take more than 800 milligrams per day.
Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. There is no specific information available on Sectral; however, overdose symptoms seen with other beta blockers include: Difficulty breathing, extremely slow heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, seizures, severe congestive heart failure