Generic Name: acebutolol, Oral capsule

Generic Name:

acebutolol, Oral capsule

Sectral

All Brands

  • Sectral
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for acebutolol

Oral capsule
1

Acebutolol is an oral drug that’s used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and a type of irregular heartbeat and rhythm (premature ventricular contractions or PVCs). 

2

The standard starting dosage is 200 mg taken by mouth two times per day, or 400 mg taken by mouth one time per day. The maximum dose is 600 mg taken twice per day. Your doctor will decide a dosage that’s right for you.

3

Before taking this drug, let your doctor know about all of your health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, poor circulation, or heart or thyroid problems. 

4

Common side effects include slow heart rate, dizziness, tiredness, headache, constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, and muscle pain.

5

You should talk to your doctor first before you stop taking this drug. Your doctor should gradually decrease your dose.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Other conditions

Before taking acebutolol, let your doctor know about all of your health conditions. It’s especially important to tell your doctor if you have:

  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • diabetes
  • poor circulation
  • heart failure or other heart problems
  • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)

Stopping the drug

You should talk to your doctor first before you stop taking this drug. If you have certain conditions and stop taking this drug suddenly, you may have thyroid problems or worsened chest pain. This can even be fatal. Your doctor should gradually decrease your dose.

Drug features

Acebutolol is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral capsule. 

Acebutolol is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand.  Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Acebutolol may be taken as part of a combination therapy with other medications.

Why it's used

Acebutolol is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and a type of irregular heart beat (premature ventricular contractions or PVCs). 

How it works

Acebutolol belongs to a class of drugs called beta blockers. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly.

More Details

How it works

Acebutolol belongs to a class of drugs called beta blockers. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions. 

This drug works by blocking certain receptors (beta) found in your blood vessels and heart from being activated by hormones, such as adrenaline. By stopping activation of these receptors, your blood vessels and heart stay relaxed. This helps lower your blood pressure and your heart beat.

High blood pressure often happens when your blood vessels are tightened. That strains the heart and increases your body’s need for oxygen. Acebutolol also helps to lower your heart rate and your heart’s demand for oxygen.

SECTION 2 of 5

acebutolol Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with acebutolol include:

  • a slower than normal heart rate

  • dizziness

  • tiredness

  • headache

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • upset stomach (indigestion)

  • muscle aches or pains

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • very low blood pressure. Symptoms include:

    • severe dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
  • very slow heart rate. Symptoms include:

    • tiredness
    • severe dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
  • poor circulation. Symptoms include:

    • cold or blue fingers or toes
  • erectile dysfunction. Symptoms include:

    • being unable to get or keep an erection
  • depression

  • pain when urinating

  • liver damage. Symptoms include:

    • nausea
    • loss of appetite
    • dark-colored urine
    • tiredness
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a condition where your immune system attacks parts of your body. Symptoms include:

    • severe skin rash, which may look like a butterfly shape across your nose
    • mouth sores
    • tiredness
    • joint pain
    • muscle pain
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Acebutolol does not cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

acebutolol May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Acebutolol can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Pain medications

These drugs may decrease the blood pressure-lowering effect of acebutolol. This means that it may not work as well.

These drugs include:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Examples include:
    • diclofenac
    • etodolac
    • ibuprofen
    • indomethacin
    • ketorolac
    • nabumetone
    • naproxen

Nasal decongestants

Certain nasal decongestant drugs can compete for the same receptors that acebutolol blocks. This can stop both drugs from working as well as they should.

These drugs include:

  • phenylephrine
  • pseudoephedrine

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs

Certain ADHD drugs can compete for the same receptors that acebutolol blocks. This can stop both drugs from working as well as they should.

These drugs include:

  • methylphenidate
  • dextroamphetamine
  • amphetamine salts

Rivastigmine

Certain dementia drugs, such as rivastigmine, slow down your heart rate. If you take these drugs with acebutolol, it can cause your heart to slow to an unsafe rate and lead to fainting. The manufacturer of rivastigmine recommends against taking the drug with beta-blockers, including acebutolol.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with asthma or COPD

Many people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) shouldn’t take acebutolol. Your doctor may still prescribe it, but only in small doses with careful monitoring. At higher doses, this drug can block receptors on breathing passages. This narrows the passages, which makes your asthma or COPD worse. This can also make your rescue breathing medications not work as well.

People with diabetes

Acebutolol may hide symptoms of low blood sugar, such as tremors and increased heart rate. This can make it harder to know when your blood sugar is low.

People with poor circulation

This drug can make poor circulation in your feet and hands worse. Acebutolol reduces blood pressure, which means that less blood may flow to your extremities.

People with heart failure

If you have uncontrolled heart failure, you shouldn’t take acebutolol because it may make your condition worse. If your heart failure is under control, your doctor may use this drug with caution. They will monitor your heart closely.

People with heart problems

If you have any heart problems, let your doctor know. Taking acebutolol may make your heart weaker or lead to heart failure. If you stop taking this drug suddenly and have heart disease, you may have worsened chest pain or a heart attack. This may even be fatal. Talk to your doctor first before you stop taking this drug. Your doctor should gradually decrease your dose.

People with overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)

If you have hyperthyroidism and stop taking acebutolol suddenly, you may have a thyroid storm. This is life threatening. Symptoms include confusion, a very fast heart rate, shaking, sweating, or agitation. Talk to your doctor first before you stop taking this drug. Your doctor should gradually decrease your dose.

People with kidney problems

Acebutolol is removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working well, more of this drug may stay in your body longer, putting you at risk for side effects. If you have severe kidney problems, you may need a lower dose or a different medication.

People with liver problems

Acebutolol is processed by your liver. If your liver isn’t working well, more of this drug may stay in your body longer, putting you at risk for side effects. If you have liver problems, you may need a lower dose or a different medication.

Pregnant women

Acebutolol is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to the unborn baby.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show the drug poses a risk to the unborn baby.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Acebutolol should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the unborn baby.

Women who are breast-feeding

Acebutolol may pass into breast milk and cause serious effects in a child who is breastfed.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll breastfeed or take acebutolol.

For seniors

Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Allergies

Acebutolol can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives
  • rash

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it a second time after an allergic reaction could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take acebutolol (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Brand: Sectral

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 200 mg, 400 mg

Generic: acebutolol

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 200 mg, 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years)

The starting dose is 400 mg taken by mouth once per day or 200 mg taken by mouth twice per day. Your doctor may increase your dose up to 600 mg taken twice per day as needed. Recommended maintenance doses range from 400–800 mg total per day.

Child dosage (ages 0-17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or you may need a different schedule. Your total daily dose shouldn’t be more than 800 mg.

Special considerations

Kidney problems: If you develop moderate kidney problems (CrCl < 50 mL/min) your doctor will reduce your dose by 50%. If you develop severe kidney problems (CrCl < 25 mL/min) your doctor will reduce your dose by 75%.

Warnings

If you need to stop taking this drug, you should talk to your doctor first. Your dose should be gradually decreased over 2 weeks under a doctor’s supervision. This will keep your heart problems from getting worse.

Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)

Brand: Sectral

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 200 mg, 400 mg

Generic: acebutolol

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 200 mg, 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years)

The starting dose is 200 mg taken by mouth twice per day. Your doctor may slowly increase your dose up to 600 mg taken twice per day. Recommended maintenance doses range from 600–1200 mg total per day.

Child dosage (ages 0-17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or you may need a different schedule. Your total daily dose shouldn’t be more than 800 mg.

Special considerations

Kidney problems: If you develop moderate kidney problems (CrCl < 50 mL/min) your doctor will reduce your dose by 50%. If you develop severe kidney problems (CrCl < 25 mL/min) your doctor will reduce your dose by 75%.

Warnings

If you need to stop taking this drug, you should talk to your doctor first. Your dose should be gradually decreased over 2 weeks under a doctor’s supervision. This will keep your heart problems from getting worse.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Acebutolol comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours until the time for your next dose, wait and only take one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could cause toxic side effects.

If you don’t take it

If you don’t take this drug, your high blood pressure or irregular heart rate won’t get better. This may also raise your risk of having a heart attack or harming the blood vessels of your lungs, heart, or liver.

If you stop taking it suddenly

If you stop taking this drug suddenly, you raise your risk of having a heart attack. Talk to your doctor before stopping acebutolol. Your doctor needs to monitor you and adjust your dose slowly.

If you don’t take it on schedule

If you don’t take acebutolol every day or you take your doses at different times each day, your blood pressure may not be controlled and your irregular heart rate may not normalize. This may increase your risk for a heart attack.

If you take too much

If you take too much acebutolol, you are at risk of lowering your blood pressure and slowing your heart rate to a dangerously low level. It may also cause very low blood sugar, trouble breathing, heart failure, or seizures.

You may have the following symptoms:

  • dizziness
  • faintness
  • weakness
  • tiredness
  • confusion
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pains

Call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you think that you’ve taken too much acebutolol.

How to tell this drug is working

You may be able to tell this drug is working if you check your blood pressure at home and it’s lower or you check your heart rate at home and it’s regular. Your doctor may also do tests to check if acebutolol is working for you.

Acebutolol is a long-term drug treatment.

Acebutolol must be stored at the right temperature

  • Store acebutolol at room temperature between 68°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Keep it away from high temperature.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about the airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Clinical monitoring

Before starting you on acebutolol, your doctor may check the function of the following organs to decide if this drug is safe for you to take and if you need a lower dose: 

  • kidney
  • liver

While you’re taking acebutolol, your doctor will check to see if the drug is working.

  • If you’re taking acebutolol to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), your doctor will check your blood pressure.
  • If you’re taking acebutolol to treat irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), your doctor will check your heart rate and an electrocardiogram of your heart.

Some pharmacies may not have the brand form Sectral

Most pharmacies should have the generic form of acebutolol in stock, but they may not have the brand form Sectral available. Call the pharmacy ahead of time if your doctor prescribes Sectral and you need this specific brand.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription for brand name drugs like Sectral.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

Showing - out of 21
SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does acebutolol Cost?

Oral capsule
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

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Lowest price for acebutolol

Safeway $19.52
Walmart $19.77
Sams Club $19.77
These represent the lowest cash prices for acebutolol and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of acebutolol near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for acebutolol and may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on August 31, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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