Sectral treats high blood pressure and other heart conditions. Do not stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor first.

Sectral Overview

Reviewed: September 29, 2013

Sectral is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat (known medically as ventricular arrhythmia). This medication belongs to a group of drugs called beta blockers. It works to decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and the workload of the heart by blocking beta receptors. 

Sectral comes in capsule form to be taken by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice daily, with or without food.

Common side effects of Sectral include tiredness, headaches, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you. 

Patient Ratings for Sectral

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What are you taking Sectral for?

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  • Other
  • Angina Pectoris
  • Hypertension
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular
  • Ventricular Fibrillation

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

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Sectral Cautionary Labels


Uses of Sectral

Sectral is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat (known medically as ventricular arrhythmia). 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Sectral Drug Class

Sectral is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Sectral

Common side effects include:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • excessive tiredness
  • headache
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • muscle aches

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

Serious side effects have been reported. See "Drug Precautions" section.

These are not all the possible side effects of Sectral. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Sectral Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • reserpine (Serpalan)
  • decongestant medications such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and pheylephrine (Sudafed PE)
  • digoxin (Lanoxin)

This is not a complete list of Sectral drug interactions.  Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Sectral Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Sectral the following:

  • Hypotension. Hypotension, or low blood pressure, may cause you to feel faint or dizzy. Inadequate fluid intake, excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can lead to an excessive fall in blood pressure too. Lie down if you feel faint or dizzy. Call your doctor right away.
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience any of the following symptoms of CHF:

    • sudden weight gain
    • worsening shortness of breath
    • increased swelling of your feet, legs, or abdomen
    • needing to use more pillows to go to sleep or sleeping in a recliner
    • waking from sleep to catch your breath
    • a cough that does not go away
    • new or increasing irregularities in your heart rate
  • A decline in liver function. Tell your healthcare provider any signs or symptoms of liver damage, which include the following:

    • fever or rash
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • dark urine or light colored stools
    • stomach pain or tenderness
    • feel tired
    • nausea or vomiting
    • loss of appetite or start losing weight (anorexia)
  • Sectral can cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Sectral can cause serious withdrawal side effects. To avoid these side effects, do not suddenly stop taking this medication. Discuss with your doctor about slowly decreasing the dose before stopping use of this medication altogether. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any or all of the following symptoms:
    • feeling generally unwell or uneasy
    • chest pain
    • insomnia
    • stomach cramps
    • muscle cramp
    • vomiting

Do not take Sectral if you:

  • are allergic to Sectral or to any of its ingredients
  • have persistently severe bradycardia (slow heart rate)
  • have second and third-degree heart block
  • have overt cardiac failure
  • have cardiogenic shock


Sectral Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Sectral, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking Sectral, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to any ingredient in Sectral 
  • have persistently severe bradycardia
  • have second- and third-degree heart block
  • have diabetes
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have asthma or other lung disease

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.


Sectral and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Sectral falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with Sectral. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.


Sectral and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Sectral has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from Sectral, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.


Sectral Usage

  • Take Sectral exactly as prescribed.
  • Sectral comes in capsule form and is taken once or twice daily.
  • Take with or without food.
  • Do not chew, divide, or break Sectral capsules. Swallow capsule whole.
  • If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Sectral at the same time.


Sectral Dosage

Take Sectral exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The Sectral dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • age

The recommended dose range for Sectral is 200 mg to 1200 mg taken once or twice a day.


Sectral Overdose

If you take too much Sectral, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If Sectral is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store Sectral at room temperature 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F). 
  • Keep tightly closed.
  • Protect from light.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.