Sectral is a medication often prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure and certain irregular heart rhythms. It comes in capsule form and is typically taken once or twice a day. The drug works by blocking beta receptors and suppressing certain irregular heart beats that originate in the wrong part of the heart. Potential side effects include fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.
Sectral® (acebutolol hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved to treat the following conditions:
(Click Sectral Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Brand-name Sectral is made by Mova Pharmaceutical Corporation for Reddy Pharmaceuticals, LLC. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
Sectral belongs to a group of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, more often known as beta blockers. As the name implies, these medications block beta receptors in the body. In addition to blocking beta receptors, however, Sectral also very slightly stimulates the beta receptors. Only a few beta blockers do this; this slight stimulatory action is known as "intrinsic sympathomimetic activity," or ISA.
Beta receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the heart and blood vessels. Stress hormones (such as adrenaline) bind to these receptors and cause certain reactions in the body, such as:
- Increased force with which the heart pumps blood
- Increased heart rate
- Higher blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic blood pressure)
- Constricted blood vessels.
By blocking beta receptors, Sectral causes the reverse effect of stress hormones and reduces blood pressure. It also suppresses certain irregular heartbeats that originate in the wrong part of the heart (known specifically as premature ventricular contractions or PVCs).
It is also important to note that Sectral is more likely to block beta-1 receptors (such as those in the heart), opposed to beta-2 receptors (such as those found in the lungs). In theory, this may make the medication safer than other beta blockers for people with breathing problems such as asthma.