Propafenone (By mouth)

Introduction

Propafenone Hydrochloride (proe-PA-fen-one hye-droe-KLOR-ide)

Used to prevent or treat serious irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia). Belongs to a class of drugs called antiarrhythmics.

Brand Name(s)

Rythmol SR, Rythmol

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to propafenone, or if you have certain heart problems. Your doctor will determine if this medicine is right for you.

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Capsule, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • You may need to carry identification stating that you are using propafenone. Ask your doctor about this.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • There are many other drugs that can interact with propafenone. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using, especially digoxin (Lanoxin®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), lidocaine, quinidine (Cardioquin®, Quinaglute®), ritonavir (Norvir®), saquinavir (Fortovase®, Invirase®), a blood pressure medicine (such as amiodarone, atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, Cardizem®, Cordarone®, Lopressor®, or Tenormin®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using arsenic trioxide (Trisenox®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), cisapride (Propulsid®), dofetilide (Tikosyn®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or orlistat (Xenical®). Tell your doctor if you use certain antibiotics (such as erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, Avelox®, Ery-Tab®, Levaquin®, or Zagam®), medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, desipramine, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, Effexor®, Elavil®, Norpramin®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Tofranil®, or Zoloft®), or medicine for mental illness (such as haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Geodon®, Haldol®, Mellaril®, Orap®, Serentil®, or Seroquel®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are smoking tobacco.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness), asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease, heart rhythm problems (such as prolonged PR, QRS, or QT intervals or sick sinus syndrome), a recent heart attack, congestive heart failure, or if you have a pacemaker.
  • This medicine can cause changes in your heart rhythm, such as conditions called PR, QRS, or QT prolongation. It may cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you develop any of the following: chest pain; shortness of breath; swelling of your hands, ankles, or feet; or weight gain. These may be symptoms of heart failure.
  • This medicine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may decrease the amount of sperm men make. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision.
  • Chest pain, or worsening of heart rhythm problem.
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Shortness of breath with cold sweat, and bluish-colored skin.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Tremors.
  • Troubled breathing.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Anxiety, depression, or hot flashes
  • Dry mouth or metallic or bitter taste.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or gas.
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness.
  • Tiredness or weakness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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