Reviewed by Dr Patricia Clarkson, Dr Jon Skinner (October 1999), Brenda Hughes, Lejla Brkic, Robyn Wilkinson
January 1999
Administration updated August 2002
Administration Newborn Drug Protocol Index Newborn Services Home Page

Dose and Administration


  1. 0.5 to 1.5mg/kg/dose 8-hourly by slow IV infusion over 10 minutes 3


  1. 1 to 2mg /kg/dose 8-hourly. Increase to 4mg/kg/dose if required 3,6
  2. Needs to be individualised


  1. Supraventricular tachycardia
  2. Hyperthyroidism


  1. Cardiogenic shock.
  2. Severe sinus bradycardia.
  3. Congenital or acquired long QT syndromes.
  4. Hypokalaemia and hypomagnesaemia.


  1. Tendency to bronchoconstriction.
  2. Greater than first degree heart block
  3. Heart failure
  4. Renal failure – decrease the dose in renal impairment, and discontinue if renal impairment severe 3
  5. Metabolic acidosis.

Drug Interactions


Bradycardia and hypotension (mechanism not established). Monitor for haemodynamic depression


May induce hypokalaemia or hypomagnesemia therefore increasing the risk of Torsades de Pointes


Bradycardia, AV block, cardiac arrest (allow a gap of several days before starting flecainide)



Clinical Pharmacology

Sotalol has both beta adrenergic receptor blockade and antiarrhythmic properties. It is a non-selective beta adrenergic blocking agent affecting both beta1 and beta2 receptors. It has no intrinsic sympathomimetic activity or membrane stabilising activity. It inhibits renin release. Its beta adrenergic activity causes a reduction in heart rate (negative chronotropic effect) and a limited reduction in the force of contraction (negative inotropic effect). This leads to a decrease in myocardial oxygen consumption and cardiac work. Sotalol's antiarrhythmic activity causes a prolongation of the action potential in cardiac tissue by delaying the repolarisation phase.

When given orally its absorption is minimally affected by food. Sotalol undergoes very little first pass hepatic metabolism and, in adults, exhibits almost 100% bioavailability after oral dosing. It is not protein bound, and is hydrophilic with a low incidence of severe CNS adverse effects. Elimination is primarily by the kidneys with 75% of a dose excreted unchanged in the urine.

Possible Adverse Effects

  1. Can worsen existing arrhythmias or cause new arrhythmias
  2. Bradycardia, heart failure, hypotension, dyspnoea
  3. Rash
  4. Vomiting, diarrhoea

Special Considerations

  1. Have atropine on hand for excessive bradycardia.
  2. Monitor
  3. Therapeutic drug monitoring is possible.
  4. Titrate dose of Sotalol when discontinuing treatment.