What is this medicine?
FLECAINIDE (FLEK a nide) is an antiarrhythmic drug. This medicine is used to prevent irregular heart rhythm. It can also slow down fast heartbeats called tachycardia.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- abnormal levels of potassium in the blood
- heart disease including heart rhythm and heart rate problems
- kidney or liver disease
- recent heart attack
- an unusual or allergic reaction to flecainide, local anesthetics, 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. You can take this medicine with or without food. 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. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose may be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 1 year of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
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 antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, or troleandomycin
- certain antidepressants called tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, imipramine, or nortriptyline
- certain medicines to control heart rhythm like disopyramide, dofetilide, encainide, moricizine, procainamide, propafenone, and quinidine
- medicines for malaria like chloroquine and halofantrine
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- medicines for angina or high blood pressure
- medicines to control heart rhythm like amiodarone and digoxin
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because your condition and the use of this medicine carries some risk, it is a good idea to carry an identification card, necklace or bracelet with details of your condition, medications and doctor or health care professional.
Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly. Ask your health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be, and when you should contact him or her. Your doctor or health care professional also may schedule regular blood tests and electrocardiograms 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 can make you more dizzy, increase flushing and rapid heartbeats. Avoid alcoholic drinks.