Propafenone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: propafenone (proe-PA-fen-one)
Brand Name: Rythmol

Propafenone has not been shown to improve the rate of survival in patients with an abnormal heart rhythm. For this reason, propafenone should only be used for certain life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using propafenone.


Propafenone is used for:

Treating certain types of life-threatening irregular heartbeat (ventricular arrhythmias). It is also used to help maintain a normal heart rhythm in certain patients who have certain types of irregular heartbeat (paroxysmal atrial fibrillation/flutter [PAF], paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia [PSVT]).

Propafenone is a class 1C antiarrhythmic medicine. It works in the heart to stabilize its action and regulate heartbeat.

Do NOT use propafenone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in propafenone
  • you have uncontrolled congestive heart failure, shock caused by severe heart problems, slow heartbeat, very low blood pressure, abnormal blood electrolyte levels, or certain breathing problems (eg, chronic bronchitis or emphysema)
  • you have certain types of irregular heartbeat (eg, sick sinus syndrome, heart block) and you do not have a permanent pacemaker
  • you have a heart problem called Brugada Syndrome
  • you are taking another antiarrhythmic (eg, amiodarone, quinidine), asenapine, cisapride, citalopram, an HIV protease inhibitor (eg, ritonavir), halofantrine, a macrolide antibiotic (eg, erythromycin), nilotinib, pasireotide, a quinolone antibiotic (eg, ciprofloxacin), telithromycin, tetrabenazine, toremifene, or ziprasidone

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Atrial Fibrillation - Stroke Prevention Guidelines & Treatment Options

Before using propafenone:

Some medical conditions may interact with propafenone. 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 kidney or liver problems, lung or breathing problems, lupus, or myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness)
  • if you have a certain abnormal blood test (antinuclear antibody [ANA] test)
  • if you use an artificial pacemaker or if you smoke tobacco
  • if you have low blood pressure or a history of an irregular heartbeat (eg, widening of the QRS complex, atrioventricular [AV] block, ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation), a heart attack, or other heart problems (eg, coronary artery disease, heart failure)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with propafenone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for allergies, infections, blood thinning, cancer, Cushing disease, depression or other mental or mood problems, heartburn or reflux problems, high blood pressure, HIV infection, immune system suppression, irregular heartbeat or other heart problems, malaria, narcotic or other substance dependence and withdrawal, nausea and vomiting, obesity, overactive bladder, pain, stomach problems, Tourette syndrome), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, St. John's wort) may interact with propafenone. Check with your doctor to see if propafenone may interact with any other medicine that you are taking.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if propafenone 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 propafenone:

Use propafenone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take propafenone by mouth with or without food.
  • Take each dose at the same time with respect to meals.
  • Take propafenone on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Do not miss any doses.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you use propafenone.
  • If you miss a dose of propafenone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your 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 propafenone.

Important safety information:

  • Propafenone may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use propafenone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Propafenone may affect how artificial pacemakers work. Pacemakers should be monitored and programmed accordingly during therapy.
  • If severe or persistent vomiting, sweating, loss of appetite or thirst, or diarrhea occurs, you will need to take care not to become dehydrated. Contact your doctor for instructions.
  • Propafenone may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection, like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take propafenone before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Propafenone may decrease sperm counts in men. This could affect the ability to father a child. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Propafenone may interfere with certain lab tests, including ANA titers. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking propafenone.
  • Lab tests, including electrocardiographic tests, white blood cell counts, and electrolyte levels, may be performed while you use propafenone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Propafenone should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking propafenone while you are pregnant. Propafenone is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking propafenone.

Possible side effects of propafenone:

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:

Change in taste; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; gas; headache; light-headedness; nausea; tiredness.

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); black, tarry stools; blood in the urine; burning, numbness, or tingling; chest pain; confusion; change in the amount of urine produced or painful urination; fainting; fast or slow heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hearing problems; loss of appetite; mental or mood problems (eg, anxiety, depression); muscle weakness; new or worsened irregular heartbeat; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; pain, swelling, or redness of the calf or legs; ringing in the ears; severe or persistent dizziness, tiredness, or weakness; severe stomach or back pain; shortness of breath; slurred speech; sudden, severe headache; sudden weight gain; swelling of the hands or feet; tremor; trouble sleeping; unusual bruising or bleeding; vomiting; vision problems (eg, blurred vision); wheezing.

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 fainting; irregular or slow heartbeat; seizures; severe dizziness or drowsiness.

Proper storage of propafenone:

Store propafenone at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep propafenone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about propafenone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Propafenone is 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 propafenone 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 propafenone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to propafenone. 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 propafenone.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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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