Generic Name: propafenone (proe PAF e none)
Brand Name: Rythmol, Rythmol SR
What is Rythmol (propafenone)?
Propafenone is in a group of drugs called Class IC anti-arrhythmics. It affects the way your heart beats.
Propafenone is used in certain situations to prevent serious heart rhythm disorders.
Propafenone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Rythmol (propafenone)?
You should not use this medication if you have untreated or uncontrolled congestive heart failure, a heart condition called "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker), slow heartbeats or severely low blood pressure, an electrolyte imbalance, or a breathing disorder such as asthma.
Propafenone may cause a new or worsening heartbeat pattern. Call your doctor at once if you have a headache and chest pain with severe dizziness, fainting, and fast or pounding heartbeats.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Rythmol (propafenone)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to propafenone, or if you have:
a genetic heart condition, especially a certain heart rhythm disorder called Brugada syndrome;
a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
severe low blood pressure, or history of slow heart beats that have caused you to faint;
a severe or uncontrolled electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium in your blood); or
a breathing disorder such as severe COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
To make sure propafenone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
heart disease or prior heart attack;
a breathing disorder;
liver or kidney disease;
myasthenia gravis; or
if you have ever had an abnormal blood test called Antinuclear Antibody Test or ANA.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether propafenone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
This medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
Propafenone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take Rythmol (propafenone)?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take propafenone with or without food.
Your heart function may need to be checked with an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG), before and during treatment with propafenone.
You may have very low blood pressure while taking this medication. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, extreme thirst, loss of appetite, or if you are sweating more than usual.
While using propafenone, you may need frequent blood tests.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
See also: Rythmol dosage (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking Rythmol (propafenone)?
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with propafenone and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking propafenone.
Rythmol (propafenone) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;
confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;
slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop).
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, constipation;
headache, tired feeling; or
unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Rythmol side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Rythmol (propafenone)?
Many drugs can interact with propafenone and should not be used at the same time. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with propafenone, especially:
arsenic trioxide, vandetanib, vemurafenib;
an antibiotic--azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, pentamidine, telithromycin;
an antidepressant--amitriptyline, bupropion, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nefazodone, paroxetine;
antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;
anti-malaria medication--artemether and lumefantrine, chloroquine, halofantrine, mefloquine;
heart medication--amiodarone, dofetilide, disopyramide, dronedarone, flecainide, ibutilide, nicardipine, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol;
hepatitis C medications--boceprevir, telaprevir;
HIV/AIDS medication--atazanavir, delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir;
medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting--dolasetron, droperidol, ondansetron;
medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder--chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, thioridazine, ziprasidone; or
migraine headache medicine--sumatriptan, zolmitriptan.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with propafenone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Rythmol resources
- Rythmol Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Rythmol MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Rythmol Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Rythmol Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Propafenone Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Propafenone Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Rythmol SR Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Rythmol SR sustained-release capsules MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
Compare Rythmol with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about propafenone.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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