Generic Name: procainamide (proe-KANE-a-mide)
Brand Name: Pronestyl
Taking procainamide capsules for a prolonged period of time may lead to the development of antibodies in your blood that are sometimes associated with autoimmune diseases such as lupus. If you experience butterfly-shaped rash on the face, swollen or tender joints, unexplained fever, or severe or persistent tiredness, seizures, or mental or mood changes, contact your doctor.
Procainamide capsules should only be used to treat life-threatening irregular heartbeat. It has been associated with an increased risk of death when used to treat non-life-threatening irregular heartbeat. Talk with your doctor for more information.
Procainamide capsules may cause severe and sometimes fatal blood problems (eg, bone marrow suppression, low blood platelet or white blood cell levels, anemia). These side effects have occurred most often during the first 12 weeks of therapy. Lab tests, such as complete blood cell counts, may be performed weekly for the first 3 months of therapy and then periodically to monitor for these side effects. If you experience fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores or irritation, or unusual bruising or bleeding, contact your doctor immediately. Your risk may be greater if you already have bone marrow or blood problems.
Procainamide capsules are used for:
Treating certain abnormal heart rhythms.
Procainamide capsules are an antiarrhythmic. It works by stabilizing the heart rhythm in conditions in which the heart is beating too fast or in an irregular rhythm (antiarrhythmic effect).
Do NOT use procainamide capsules if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in procainamide capsules
- you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to a local anesthetic (eg, procaine)
- you have complete heart block, lupus, or certain severe abnormal heart rhythms (eg, torsades de pointes)
- you are taking astemizole, cisapride, dofetilide, a phenothiazine (eg, chlorpromazine), a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (eg, sildenafil), terfenadine, or ziprasidone
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using procainamide capsules:
Some medical conditions may interact with procainamide capsules. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of liver or kidney disease; congestive heart failure, heart block, QT prolongation, or other heart problems; bone marrow problems; blood problems (eg, low blood platelet or white blood cell levels); myasthenia gravis; or digitalis (digoxin) toxicity
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with procainamide capsules. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, quinidine), anticholinergics (eg, hyoscyamine), arsenic, astemizole, cisapride, dofetilide, droperidol, H2 antagonists (eg, cimetidine), ketolide antibiotics (eg, telithromycin), macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (eg, sildenafil ), pimozide, quinolone antibiotics (eg, ciprofloxacin), serotonin receptor antagonists (eg, dolasetron), terfenadine, trimethoprim, or ziprasidone because the risk of side effects, including irregular heartbeat, may be increased
- Neuromuscular blockers (eg, succinylcholine) because actions or side effects may be increased by procainamide capsules
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if procainamide capsules may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use procainamide capsules:
Use procainamide capsules as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Procainamide capsules may be taken on an empty stomach or with food.
- Take procainamide capsules regularly to receive the most benefit from it.
- Continue to use procainamide capsules even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of procainamide capsules, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for our next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use procainamide capsules.
Important safety information:
- Procainamide capsules may cause dizziness or blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to procainamide capsules.
- Drinking alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of procainamide capsules. Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol.
- Do not exceed the recommended dose or use procainamide capsules for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Do not suddenly stop taking procainamide capsules without checking with your doctor.
- Procainamide capsules may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
- Procainamide capsules may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using procainamide capsules.
- Procainamide capsules may interfere with certain lab tests. Make sure your doctor and laboratory personnel know you are using procainamide capsules.
- Procainamide capsules may contain tartrazine dye (FD&C Yellow No. 5), which can cause allergic reactions in certain patients. If you have previously had an allergic reaction to tartrazine, contact your pharmacist to determine if the medicine you are taking contains tartrazine.
- LAB TESTS, including heart function tests, complete blood cell counts, and serum ANA titers, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use procainamide capsules with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Use procainamide capsules with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using procainamide capsules during pregnancy. Procainamide capsules are excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are taking procainamide capsules.
Possible side effects of procainamide capsules:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); butterfly-shaped rash on the face; chest pain; dark urine; depression; diarrhea; dizziness or lightheadedness; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; loss of appetite; mood or mental changes; mouth sores or irritation; muscle pain or weakness; nausea; pale stools; seizures; stomach pain; severe or persistent tiredness; shortness of breath; swollen or tender joints; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; wheezing; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; fast or irregular heartbeat; irregular or difficult breathing; severe drowsiness; tremor.Proper storage of procainamide capsules:
Store procainamide capsules between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep procainamide capsules out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about procainamide capsules, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Procainamide capsules are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take procainamide capsules or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about procainamide capsules. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to procainamide capsules. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using procainamide capsules.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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