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Procainamide

Generic Name: Procainamide (pro KANE a mide)

Medically reviewed on Sep 5, 2018

Warning

  • Long-term use of procainamide may cause lupus, a disease that causes irritation to joints and other parts of the body. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine is only to be used to treat certain types of abnormal heartbeats. Other abnormal heartbeats have happened with procainamide, which in rare cases can be deadly. Talk to the doctor if you have any questions about procainamide.
  • Rarely, certain blood problems have happened with procainamide. This can lead to bleeding problems or infections. Sometimes, these have been deadly. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or a wound that will not heal. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unexplained bruising or bleeding, or if you feel very tired or weak.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had any bone marrow or blood problems.

Uses of Procainamide:

  • It is used to treat certain types of abnormal heartbeats.
  • This medicine will be started in a hospital where you will be closely watched. Talk with your doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Procainamide?

  • If you have an allergy to procainamide or any other part of procainamide.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have heart block.
  • If you have lupus.
  • If you have ever had a certain type of abnormal heartbeat (torsades de pointes).
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with procainamide.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take procainamide with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Procainamide?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take procainamide. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • You will need an ECG before starting procainamide and during treatment. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take procainamide.
  • If you are allergic to sulfites, talk with your doctor. Some products have sulfites.
  • Myasthenia gravis that has gotten worse has happened during care with procainamide. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are 50 or older, use procainamide with care. Talk with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using procainamide while you are pregnant.

How is this medicine (Procainamide) best taken?

Use procainamide as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as a shot into a vein.
  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of lupus like a rash on the cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Fast or slow heartbeat.
  • A new or worse heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Muscle pain or weakness.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Liver problems have rarely happened with procainamide. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.

What are some other side effects of Procainamide?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Procainamide?

  • If you need to store procainamide at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about procainamide, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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