Sectral® is a beta-adrenergic blocker used in the treatment of high blood pressure. This drug is also known by its generic name, acebutolol. This medication works by having an effect on the nerve endings that connect to organs such as the heart. By allowing the heart to beat slower, it lowers the patient's blood pressure. Although this medication helps to control high blood pressure, it is not a cure for it.
High blood pressure can cause damage to blood vessels of the brain, heart or kidneys, which might lead to heart failure, stroke or kidney failure. Patients who have high blood pressure are also at higher risk for heart attacks. Use of high blood pressure medication such as Sectral® might help lower the risk of these.
This drug comes in a capsule that is normally prescribed to be taken once or twice a day by mouth. Patients should continue their dosage even when symptoms of high blood pressure improve. Some patients might feel normal even with high blood pressure occurring. For some patients, it is recommended that Sectral® be used along with diet and exercise.
Patients who are taking Sectral® should consult with their doctor before stopping. Quitting the medication suddenly might cause heart attack or chest pains. When stopping, the patient’s dosage will be gradually lowered while being monitored by a doctor. Side effects of Sectral® might include dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, headache, upset stomach and muscle aches. Patients should contact their doctor if these symptoms become severe or are long in duration.
If more severe symptoms occur — such as problems breathing, chest pain or a swelling of the arms, hands, legs or feet — patients should seek medical help immediately. The potential side effect of drowsiness is why patients taking Sectral® are advised not to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery until they know how this medication affects them. Patients should remember that drinking alcohol might increase the drowsiness associated with the medication
Before using Sectral®, patients should tell their doctors of any other medications or medical conditions or whether they are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Patients should tell any doctor, dentist or eye doctor whose treatment they are under that they are taking Sectral®. This medication should be stored away from direct light, high heat or moisture, in a secure container and out of the reach of children.
All appointments with doctors should be kept while taking this drug. The blood pressure of the patient should be monitored to determine the response to the medication. Patients might be asked to check their heart rate, and if it is lower or higher than normal, they should contact their doctor.