UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: Sotalol - watch out, review med list

Keywords: sotalol, torsade de pointes (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/27/2013 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Updated: 1/27/2023)
Click here to contact Fermin Barrueto, MD

When reviewing a patient's medication list, there are always some that should catch your eye. Digoxin is one since we can measure it, has a low therapeutic index and elimination is effected when renal function is diminished. Another drug that should catch your eye is SOTALOL. Renally cleared and affected by even a minimally lower than normal magnesium. The toxic effect even at therapeutic levels is torsades de pointes.

One study, in a 736 bed hospital, showed 89% of patients prescribed sotalol were on an inappropriate dose due to renal function and an odds ratio of 3.7 increased re-admission rate at 6 months for the patients on the inappropriate dose of sotalol.

We can catch this in the ED. Involve your pharmacist, ED pharmacist or local toxicologist for dosing calculations.



Assessment of sotalol prescribing in a community hospital: opportunities for clinical pharmacist involvement. Finks SW, Rogers KC, Manguso AH. Int J Pharm Pract. 2011 Aug;19(4):281-6.