An increase in mortality has been reported in patients receiving encainide or flecainide after myocardial infarction for asymptomatic non life threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Considering the known proarrhythmic properties of disopyramide and the lack of evidence of improved survival for any antiarrhythmic drug in patients without life-threatening arrhythmias, the use of disopyramide as well as other antiarrhythmic agents should be reserved for patients with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias .
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Norpace CR
Available Dosage Forms:
- Tablet, Extended Release
- Capsule, Extended Release
Therapeutic Class: Antiarrhythmic, Group IA
Uses For This Medicine
Disopyramide is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms.
It is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For disopyramide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to disopyramide or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Disopyramide has been tested in children and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.
Some side effects, such as difficult urination and dry mouth, may be especially likely to occur in elderly patients, who are usually more sensitive than younger adults to the effects of disopyramide.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking disopyramide, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using disopyramide with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using disopyramide with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Chloral Hydrate
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Nalidixic Acid
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
Using disopyramide with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of disopyramide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)—Disopyramide may cause low blood sugar
- Difficult urination or
- Enlarged prostate—Disopyramide may cause difficult urination
- Electrolyte disorders—Disopyramide may worsen heart rhythm problems
- Glaucoma (history of) or
- Myasthenia gravis—Disopyramide may aggravate these conditions
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Effects may be increased because of slower removal of disopyramide from the body
- Low blood pressure or
- Other heart disorders—Effects of disopyramide on the heart may make these conditions worse
- Malnutrition, long term—Disopyramide may cause low blood sugar
Proper Use of This Medicine
Take disopyramide exactly as directed by your doctor even though you may feel well. Do not take more medicine than ordered.
For patients taking the extended-release capsules :
- Swallow the capsule whole without breaking, crushing, or chewing.
For patients taking the extended-release tablets:
- Do not crush or chew the tablet.
Disopyramide works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses. Also, it is best to take the doses at evenly spaced times day and night. For example, if you are to take four doses a day, the doses should be spaced about 6 hours apart. If this interferes with your sleep or other daily activities, or if you need help in planning the best times to take your medicine, check with your health care professional.
The dose of disopyramide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of disopyramide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For treatment of arrhythmias:
- For short-acting oral dosage form (capsules):
- Adults—100 to 150 mg taken every six to eight hours.
- Children—Dose is based on body weight and age and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 6 to 30 mg per kilogram (kg) (2.73 to 13.64 mg per pound) of body weight per day. This dose is evenly divided and taken every six hours.
- For long-acting oral dosage forms (extended-release capsules or tablets):
- Adults—200 or 400 mg every twelve hours.
- Children—Use is not recommended.
- For short-acting oral dosage form (capsules):
If you miss a dose of disopyramide, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure the medicine is working properly.
Do not stop taking disopyramide without first checking with your doctor. Stopping suddenly may cause a serious change in heart function .
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. This is due to lowered blood pressure. Getting up slowly may help. This effect does not occur often at doses of disopyramide usually used; however, make sure you know how you react to disopyramide before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. If the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
Disopyramide may rarely cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in some people. (See the Side Effects of This Medicine section below.) If these signs appear, eat or drink a food containing sugar and call your doctor right away.
Disopyramide may cause blurred vision or other vision problems. If any of these occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not able to see well.
Disopyramide may cause dryness of the eyes, mouth, and nose. For temporary relief of mouth dryness, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if dry mouth continues for more than 2 weeks, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and oral yeast infections.
Disopyramide often will make you sweat less, allowing your body temperature to increase. Use extra care not to become overheated during exercise or hot weather while you are taking disopyramide, since becoming overheated could possibly result in heatstroke.
This Medicine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Dizziness, feeling of faintness
- heartbeat sensations
- shortness of breath
- unusual tiredness
- Chest pain
- fast or slow heartbeat, rapid weight gain, swelling of feet or lower legs
- rash and/or itching
- Enlargement of breasts in men
- mental depression
- nosebleeds or bleeding gums
- sore throat and fever
- yellow eyes or skin
Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Anxious feeling
- cold sweats
- cool, pale skin
- fast heartbeat
- hunger (excessive)
- unsteady walk
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Blurred vision
- dry eyes, mouth, nose, or throat
- problems with urination
- Bloating or stomach pain
- loss of appetite
- muscle weakness
- trouble in sleeping
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about disopyramide
- Disopyramide Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
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- Drug class: group I antiarrhythmics