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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Severe shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat (symptoms of congestive heart failure), worsening of asthma, severe allergic reaction (skin rash, itching, wheezing, swelling of lips, tongue, and throat). If any of these symptoms develop, seek medical attention immediately.
Common

Cough, diarrhea, decreased sexual ability, depression, drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, frequent urination, gas, indigestion, nausea, trouble sleeping, cold hands and feet, numbness or tingling in fingers or toes.
Less Common

Fever, sore throat, abdominal pain, headache, anxiety, joint or back pain, dry or burning eyes, unusual bleeding or bruising, dark urine, nightmares or unusually vivid dreams.
Acebutolol Hydrochloride


Drug Class:
Beta-blocker

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Sectral 200 mg
(Wyeth-Ayerst)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Capsules

Why Prescribed
To treat mild to moderate high blood pressure; also used to prevent or control heartbeat irregularities (cardiac arrhythmias).

How It Works
Acebutolol slows the rate and force of contraction of the heart by blocking certain nerve impulses, thus reducing blood pressure. By modifying nerve impulses to the heart, the drug also helps to stabilize heart rhythm.

Range and Frequency
Adults: Initially, 400 mg a day, either as a single dose in the morning or as two 200 mg doses taken in the morning and evening (12 hours apart). Maximum daily dose is 1,200 mg; for those over 65, daily dose should not exceed 800 mg.

Onset of Effect
One to one and a half hours.

Duration of Action
Up to 24 hours.

Dietary Advice
Follow your doctor's dietary recommendations to improve control over high blood pressure and heart disease.

Storage
Store away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is within four hours of the next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Suddenly stopping acebutolol may cause blood pressure to rise (rebound) to high or even dangerous levels, possibly triggering angina or a heart attack in patients with advanced heart disease. Slow reduction of the dose over a period of two to three weeks is advised, under careful supervision by your doctor.

Prolonged Use
Regular visits to your doctor are needed to evaluate the drug's ongoing, long-term effectiveness.

Over 60
Many elderly patients are more sensitive to the drug than younger persons. Smaller doses and frequent blood pressure checks may be advised.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Use caution until you determine how the medication affects you.

Alcohol
Drink in careful moderation, if at all. Alcohol may interact with the drug and cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

Pregnancy
Discuss with your doctor the relative risks and benefits of using this drug while pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Trace amounts of this drug can be found in breast milk, though adverse effects in infants have not been documented. Consult your doctor for advice.

Infants and Children
Not recommended.

Special Concerns
Use of the drug should be considered but one element of a comprehensive therapeutic program that includes weight control, smoking cessation, regular exercise, and a healthy low-salt, low-fat diet.

Overdose Symptoms
Unusually slow or rapid heartbeat, severe dizziness or fainting, poor circulation in the hands (bluish skin), breathing difficulty, seizures.

What to Do
Contact your doctor immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking amphetamines, oral antidiabetic agents, asthma medication (such as aminophylline or theophylline), calcium channel blockers, clonidine, guanabenz, halothane, allergy shots, insulin, MAO inhibitors, reserpine, or other beta-blockers.

Food Interactions
None reported.

Disease Interactions
Acebutolol should be used with caution in people with diabetes, especially insulin-dependent diabetes, since the drug may mask symptoms of hypoglycemia. Consult your doctor for specific advice if you have a history of allergies or asthma, heart or blood vessel disease (including congestive heart failure and peripheral vascular disease), hyperthyroidism, irregular (slow) heartbeat, myasthenia gravis, psoriasis, respiratory problems such as bronchitis or emphysema, kidney or liver disease, or mental depression.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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