Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: Is sotalol making me tired and heavier?

Ask the doctor

Is sotalol making me tired and heavier?

Q. When I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation four years ago, my doctor put me on a calcium-channel blocker. A year or so later, after I had angioplasty and got a stent, my doctor switched me to twice-a-day sotalol. Now I feel tired all the time and have gained weight, even though I feel like I am eating less. Can this be from the sotalol?

A. Sotalol (Betapace) is a dual-action drug. It is commonly used to control atrial fibrillation, but it also acts like a beta blocker, and so is sometimes used to lower blood pressure.

Sotalol can cause side effects similar to those you describe, but my guess is that you are taking other drugs as well, and it's far from clear from your description that sotalol is the cause. I recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor. Put all your pill bottles "" and that includes vitamins, herbs, and other supplements "" in a bag and have your doctor look at the collection as you go over your symptoms. It may be the sotalol, but it may be something else, or an interaction between two pills you are taking.

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