Propaphenone is the general form of the branded drug Rythmol.
This prescription medicine belongs to a class of drugs called antiarrhythmics. They work by slowing the nerve impulses in the heart to maintain a normal heart rhythm.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved propafenone in 1989. It is sold as Rythmol from GlaxoSmithKline.
Propaphenone can cause a dangerous irregular heartbeat and increase the risk of death in certain people.
Tell your doctor if you have heart disease before taking this medicine.
Propaphenone should be used only to treat a life-threatening irregular heartbeat.
Before you start taking propriaphenone, tell your doctor about all of your past and present medical conditions, especially:
- Low blood pressure
- Slow heartbeat
- Syndrome Brugada (heart condition)
- Breathing disorders
- High or low levels of sodium, potassium, chloride or bicarbonate in the blood
- A condition that causes muscle weakness
- Diseases of the liver or kidneys
- Autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation and other symptoms
Propaphenone can affect the operation of artificial pacemakers. If you have a pacemaker, your doctor will need to carefully monitor your device during treatment.
This medicine can worsen the work of immunity. Try to avoid people who are sick.
Tell your doctor if you notice any signs of infection that may include:
- Sore throat
- Skin rash
The medicine can cause dehydration. Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- Severe diarrhea, sweating, or vomiting
- Severe loss of appetite
- Decreased thirst
Tell your doctor that you are taking propafenone before performing any operations, including dental procedures.
This medicine can reduce the number of sperm in men and affect fertility. Talk with your doctor if this causes concern.
You will often need to do tests to control the body’s response to the drug.
Propafenone should be used with extreme caution. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed in children.
Pregnancy and Propafenone
It is not known whether propafenone can harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or can become pregnant while using this medication.
You will need to discuss the risks and benefits of taking this medication during pregnancy.
Propaphenone passes into breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using this medication.
Propafenone: side effects
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become serious or persistent:
- Dry mouth
- Easy diarrhea
- Slight loss of appetite
- Bitter or metallic taste in the mouth
- Change of taste
Serious side effects
Immediately notify your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed in the “Alerts” section above, or any of the following serious side effects:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Appearing or worsening irregular heartbeat
- Weak or rapid heart rate
- Thoracic pain
- Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or legs
- Severe dizziness or fainting
- Unexpected weight gain
- Severe weakness or fatigue
- Black, resinous stool
- Blood in the urine
- Difficult or painful urination
- Blurred vision
- Hearing problems
- Complexity with coordination
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Slurred speech
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Sudden, severe headache
- Severe pain in abdomen or back
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction, including itching, rash, chest tightness, wheezing or swelling of the face, mouth, lips, or tongue
Tell your doctor about all the medications that you take, especially:
- Other drugs from irregular heartbeats, including Cordarone or Pacerone, (dofetilide), Norpace (disopyramide), Corvert (ibutilide) and Quinaglute
- Blood solvents such as Warfarin
- Some antibiotics, including Zithromax, Biaxin or Prevpac, EES, E-Mycin, or Erythrocin
- Beta-blockers, such as Tenormin, Cartrol (carteolol), Lopressor, Corgard, Propranolol,
- Norpramine (desipramine) and Tofranil
- Medications for mental illness or nausea
- Xenical (orlistat)
- Norvir (ritonavir)
- Rifadine or Rimatan
- Invirase (saquinavir)
- Sarafem or Symbyax (fluoxetine), Paxil or Pexeva and (sertraline)
Propahenone and other interactions
Grapefruit can affect how Propafenone will work in your body. Talk with your doctor before consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
This medicine may make you dizzy. Avoid driving, operating equipment or performing other actions that require vigilance until you learn how rapaphenone affects you.
Propafenone and alcohol
Alcohol can worsen certain side effects of propafenone. Talk with your doctor before drinking alcohol while using this medication.
Propafenone and smoking
Smoking cigarettes can reduce the effectiveness of propafenone. Talk with your doctor if you smoke or use tobacco before using this medication.
Propaphenone is available in the form of tablets and capsules with extended release for oral administration.
The tablet is usually taken three times a day (once every eight hours).
The extended-release capsule is usually taken twice a day (once every 12 hours).
When taking this medicine, carefully follow the instructions on the label with the recipe. Do not take more or less propafenone than recommended.
Be sure to swallow the whole capsule. Do not crush, divide, or chew it.
Your doctor can start with a low dose of Propaphenone and gradually increase.
Your first dose can be prescribed at the hospital so that your health care provider can closely monitor your condition.
Continue to take this medicine even if you feel well. Do not stop using propafenone without first talking to your doctor.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- Poor or irregular heartbeat
- Fatigue or severe drowsiness
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact a poison control center or an emergency room.
The missed dose of propafenone
If you miss a dose of propafenone, take it as soon as you remember.
But if it’s time to take the next scheduled dose, skip it and continue with your usual reception schedule.
Do not double the dose to compensate for the missed one.