propafenone (generic name)

Rythmol (brand name)

It is used to treat irregular heart rhythm and can slow rapid heartbeats
(proe pa FEEN one)
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What is this medicine?

PROPAFENONE (proe pa FEEN one) is an antiarrhythmic agent. It is used to treat irregular heart rhythm and can slow rapid heartbeats. This medicine can help your heart to return to and maintain a normal rhythm.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • heart disease
  • high blood levels of potassium
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • low blood pressure
  • lung disease like asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema
  • pacemaker
  • slow heart rate
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to propafenone, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

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 except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

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 antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, grepafloxacin, sparfloxacin, troleandomycin
  • cisapride
  • droperidol
  • levomethadyl
  • medicines for malaria like chloroquine or halofantrine
  • medicines to control heart rhythm
  • pentamidine
  • pimozide
  • ranolazine
  • ritonavir
  • sertindole
  • some medicines for treating depression or mental illness like amoxapine, haloperidol, maprotiline, pimozide, phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressants
  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • cimetidine
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • diuretics
  • local anesthetics
  • medicines for angina or high blood pressure
  • medicines for asthma or breathing difficulties like formoterol or salmeterol
  • rifampin
  • theophylline
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored closely when you first begin therapy. Often, this drug is first started in a hospital or other monitored health care setting. Once you are on maintenance therapy, visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because your condition and use of this medicine carry 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.

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.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you are taking this medicine.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • chest pain, palpitations
  • fever or chills
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of feet or legs
  • trembling or shaking

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • blurred vision
  • changes in taste (a metallic or bitter taste)
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • tiredness or weakness

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Last Updated: July 20, 2009
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