Propafenone

By

Generic Name: Propafenone Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Propafenone used for?

Propafenone is used to treat certain types of serious (possibly fatal) irregular heartbeat (such as paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation). It is used to restore normal heart rhythm and maintain a regular, steady heartbeat. Propafenone is known as an anti-arrhythmic drug. It works by blocking the activity of certain electrical signals in the heart that can cause an irregular heartbeat. Treating an irregular heartbeat can decrease the risk for blood clots, and this effect can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.

How should I take Propafenone?

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually every 8 hours or as directed by your doctor.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store Propafenone?

Propafenone is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Propafenone in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Propafenone that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Propafenone down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Propafenone?

Before taking propafenone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema), kidney problems, liver problems, myasthenia gravis, a certain inherited heart condition (Brugada Syndrome).

Propafenone may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using propafenone, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/”water pills”) or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using propafenone safely.

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Propafenone during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Propafenone. Propafenone is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Propafenone?

Dizziness, headache, metallic/salty taste in the mouth, nausea/vomiting, constipation, anxiety, and tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: signs of infection (such as high fever, severe chills, weakness, persistent sore throat), signs of liver problems (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain).

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: fainting, faster/more irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Propafenone?

Many drugs besides propafenone may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, flecainide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin), and certain quinolone antibiotics (such as sparfloxacin), among others. (See also Precautions section.)

Other medications can affect the removal of propafenone from your body, which may affect how propafenone works. Examples include asunaprevir, desipramine, ketoconazole, orlistat, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, and certain HIV protease inhibitors (such as ritonavir, tipranavir), among others.

Propafenone can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include digoxin, imipramine, metoprolol, propranolol, warfarin, among others.

Propafenone may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Propafenone?

Propafenone may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

What health conditions may interact with Propafenone?

Propafenone may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Propafenone.

What is the dose of Propafenone for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Atrial Fibrillation

Initial dose:

Immediate release: 150 mg orally every 8 hours.

Extended release: 225 mg every 12 hours.

Maintenance dose:

Immediate release: May be increased at a minimum of 3 to 4 day intervals to 225 mg every 8 hours and, if necessary, to 300 mg every 8 hours.

Extended release: May be increased after 5 days of therapy to 325 mg every 12 hours. Doses up to 425 mg every 12 hours are necessary for some patients.

Usual Adult Dose for Atrial Flutter

Initial dose:

Immediate release: 150 mg orally every 8 hours.

Extended release: 225 mg every 12 hours.

Maintenance dose:

Immediate release: May be increased at a minimum of 3 to 4 day intervals to 225 mg every 8 hours and, if necessary, to 300 mg every 8 hours.

Extended release: May be increased after 5 days of therapy to 325 mg every 12 hours. Doses up to 425 mg every 12 hours are necessary for some patients.

Usual Adult Dose for Ventricular Tachycardia

Initial dose:

Immediate release: 150 mg orally every 8 hours.

Extended release: 225 mg every 12 hours.

Maintenance dose:

Immediate release: May be increased at a minimum of 3 to 4 day intervals to 225 mg every 8 hours and, if necessary, to 300 mg every 8 hours.

Extended release: May be increased after 5 days of therapy to 325 mg every 12 hours. Doses up to 425 mg every 12 hours are necessary for some patients.

Usual Adult Dose for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

Initial dose:

Immediate release: 150 mg orally every 8 hours.

Extended release: 225 mg every 12 hours.

Maintenance dose:

Immediate release: May be increased at a minimum of 3 to 4 day intervals to 225 mg every 8 hours and, if necessary, to 300 mg every 8 hours.

Extended release: May be increased after 5 days of therapy to 325 mg every 12 hours. Doses up to 425 mg every 12 hours are necessary for some patients.

Renal Dose Adjustments

No specific dose adjustment guidelines have been suggested; however, caution is recommended in dose selection.

Liver Dose Adjustments

In general, maintenance doses will be 20% to 30% of the usual recommended dose.

Dose Adjustments

In patients in whom significant widening of the QRS complex or second or third degree AV block occurs, dose reduction should be considered.

Precautions

In the elderly or in patients with marked previous myocardial damage, the dose should be increased more gradually during the initial phase of treatment.

Other Comments

The usefulness and safety of dosages exceeding 900 mg per day have not been established.

What is the dose of Propafenone for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Propafenone available?

Propafenone is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral tablet,
  • Oral capsule, extended release.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Propafenone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: April 21, 2018 | Last Modified: April 21, 2018

Want to live your best life?
Get the Hello Doktor Daily newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.
You might also like