What is propafenone?

Propafenone is in a group of drugs called Class IC anti-arrhythmics. It affects the way your heart beats.

Propafenone is used in certain situations to prevent serious heart rhythm disorders.

Propafenone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to propafenone, or if you have:

  • untreated or uncontrolled congestive heart failure;
  • a heart condition called "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
  • slow heartbeats or severely low blood pressure;
  • an electrolyte imbalance; or
  • a breathing disorder such as asthma.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take propafenone:

  • congestive heart failure;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • lupus;
  • arthritis;
  • myasthenia gravis; or
  • if you have had a heart attack within the past 2 years.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether propafenone is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Propafenone may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may increase your blood levels of propafenone which could lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, slow heart rate, feeling like you might pass out, or seizure (convulsions).

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop);
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior; or
  • seizure.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin;
  • constipation;
  • headache;
  • tired feeling;
  • ringing in your ears;
  • unusual dreams; or
  • blurred vision.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Many drugs can interact with propafenone. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet),
  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • orlistat (alli, Xenical);
  • quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release);
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate, Rimactane);
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
  • an antidepressant such as desipramine (Norpramin), fluoxetine (Prozac), imipramine (Tofranil), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), or venlafaxine (Effexor);
  • HIV or AIDS medication such as ritonavir (Norvir) or saquinavir (Invirase);
  • another heart rhythm medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);
  • medicine to treat psychiatric disorders, such as haloperidol (Haldol); or
  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), timolol (Blocadren), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with propafenone. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Rythmol, Rythmol SR, and propafenone

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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