What is this medicine?
DISOPYRAMIDE (dye soe PEER a mide) is an antiarrhythmic drug. It helps make your heart beat regularly. This medicine also helps to slow rapid heartbeats.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- difficulty passing urine
- heart disease or previous heart attack
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- low blood pressure
- myasthenia gravis
- an unusual or allergic reaction to disopyramide, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly. This may cause serious, heart-related side effects. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- arsenic trioxide
- certain medicines for HIV or AIDS
- macrolide antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin
- medicines for mental depression such as tricyclic antidepressants
- medicines to treat or prevent malaria like chloroquine or halofantrine
- other medicines to control heart rhythm
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, and thioridazine
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- beta-blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart problems
- medicines for seizures such as phenytoin, phenobarbital, or carbamazepine
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly while you are taking this medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your heart rate and blood pressure should be, and when you should contact him or her. Your doctor or health care professional also may schedule regular tests to check your progress.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Avoid extreme heat. This medicine can cause you to sweat less than normal. Your body temperature could increase to dangerous levels, which may lead to heat stroke.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.