Date: November 2021, Version 3

What is it?

Sotalol is sometimes taken by pregnant women who have an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). It is also occasionally given to a pregnant woman if an arrhythmia is detected in the unborn baby, as medicine is able to cross the placenta and normalise the baby’s heart rhythm.


What are the benefits of using sotalol in pregnancy?

Sotalol helps to keep your heart beating normally, reducing the risks of harm from an abnormal heart rhythm.


Are there any risks of using sotalol during pregnancy?

A small number of pregnant women taking sotalol have been studied, with no concerns raised that its use causes harm.

Sotalol belongs to a family of medicines called beta blockers. There are no concerns that beta blockers cause birth defects, stillbirth or preterm birth. Women taking beta blockers may be more likely to have a small baby. However, a small baby can be due to underlying health conditions that beta blockers are commonly used to treat, like high blood pressure. It is therefore difficult to know if a beta blocker has also contributed to the baby being small.

Occasionally, beta blockers used in late pregnancy can affect the baby for a short while after birth (for example, causing low blood sugar). The baby may require an extra day or two in hospital following birth to look out for any problems. If these occur, they can be easily treated and usually settle quickly.


Are there any alternatives to using sotalol during pregnancy?

Possibly. Other medicines can be used to treat an abnormal heart rhythm. You should let your midwife, GP and/or obstetrician know that you are taking sotalol so that it can be reviewed as soon as possible.

No treatment

What if i prefer not to take medicines during pregnancy?

It is very important to take any medicines prescribed for an abnormal heart rhythm as this can be dangerous to both mother and baby and must be as well-controlled as possible.

Your doctor will only prescribe medicines when necessary and will be happy to talk to you about any concerns that you might have.

Please do not stop sotalol without speaking to your midwife, GP, cardiologist or obstetrician.

Will I or my baby need any extra monitoring?

You will be offered a detailed scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy as part of your routine antenatal care. If you continue sotalol then you may be offered additional scans at around 32 and 36 weeks to check that your baby is growing normally.

Are there any risks to my baby if the father has taken sotalol?

We would not expect any increased risk to your baby if the father takes sotalol.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions about the information in this leaflet please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.