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Specific Safety Concerns With Sectral

Specific Sectral Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
  • As with all beta blockers, you should not abruptly stop taking Sectral, as serious problems (including heart attacks) may result. Your healthcare provider will advise you about how to safely stop taking this medication. It is usually recommended to slowly reduce the dose over a period of one to two weeks, with careful monitoring, and to minimize physical activity during this time. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop chest pain or any other problems while stopping Sectral.
  • Sectral may worsen peripheral vascular disease or mesenteric vascular disease. If you take Sectral and have either of these conditions, your healthcare provider should monitor you closely to make sure your condition does not worsen.
  • Beta blockers can worsen breathing problems like asthma or COPD. If you have breathing problems, check with your healthcare provider before taking Sectral. While "cardioselective" beta blockers (whose actions are mostly limited to the heart and blood vessels) are less likely to cause this problem, it may still occur. It should be noted that Sectral loses its cardioselectivity at higher doses, meaning that it may have a significant effect on the lungs.
  • The kidneys and liver help remove Sectral from the body. If you have kidney or liver disease, your healthcare provider may need to monitor your response to Sectral more closely (and a lower Sectral dosage may be recommended).
  • Like all beta blockers, Sectral can worsen heart failure in some situations. However, beta blockers are also useful for the treatment of heart failure. If you have heart failure, your healthcare provider may need to monitor you very closely while you take Sectral. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if your heart failure symptoms seem to worsen.
  • If you will be having surgery, make sure your surgeon and anesthesiologist know you take Sectral, as it may affect the choice of medications used during the surgery.
  • Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), particularly the "racing heart" feeling. This can cause serious problems for people with diabetes, who need to be able to sense that they have low blood sugar (in order to correct it before it becomes life-threatening).
  • Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Stopping Sectral suddenly could cause symptoms of a "thyroid storm" (a sudden and severe worsening of hyperthyroidism symptoms).
  • Sectral can potentially interact with many other medications (see Sectral Interactions).
  • If you have an anaphylactic allergy (the type that affects the entire body and often interferes with breathing), Sectral may make you more sensitive to the allergen and may make the usual treatments (such as epinephrine or an EpiPen®) less effective.
  • Sectral is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it might be safe during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Acebutolol and Pregnancy).
  • Sectral passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Acebutolol and Breastfeeding).
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Sectral Medication Information

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