Propafenone is indicated for the treatment of certain types of serious irregular heartbeat such as:
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
- Atrial fibrillation
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is an abnormally fast heartbeat. It has a broad term that includes many forms of heart rhythm problems. Most people with rare episodes of this condition live healthy lives without restrictions or interventions. For some, treatment and lifestyle changes can sometimes or eliminate rapid heartbeats. It may come and go suddenly with stretches of normal heart rates in between. Symptoms may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days and some people have no symptoms at all. Some signs and symptoms may be:
- Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
- A fluttering in your chest
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting or near fainting
- A pounding sensation in the neck
Atrial fibrillation is often irregular or rapid heart rate. That it may increase your risk of strokes, heart failure, or other heart-related complications. Episodes of this condition may change or you may cultivate atrial fibrillation that does not go away and may need treatment. Some people with atrial fibrillation have no signs and are unaware of their condition. Those who do have this condition may experience signs and symptoms such as:
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Propafenone is in the class of drugs known as anti-arrhythmic. This blocks the activity of certain electrical signals in the heart that cause an irregular heartbeat. Treating an irregular heartbeat can lessen the risk of blood clots. This effect can decrease your risk of heart attack or stroke. Propafenone is supplied as tablets for oral use. Each table is available in the dosage forms of 150 mg and 225 mg. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription.
How does Propafenone work?
Propafenone lessens the sensitivity of the heart muscle cells to electrical impulses. This slows and regulates the electrical conduction in the heart muscle. In which it helps to restore disturbances in the heart rhythm. This also blocks beta receptors in the heart that causes a decrease in heart rate and helps in the control of arrhythmias.
The pumping action of the heart is controlled by electrical signals that pass through the heart muscle. The electrical signal causes the two pairs of heart chambers to contract in a regular manner that produces the heartbeat. If the electrical activity in the heart is disturbed for any reason, irregular heartbeats of various types can result. These can seriously undermine the pumping action of the heart and result in inefficient blood circulation around the body.
How to use Propafenone?
Propafenone is to be taken by mouth usually every 8 hours as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this medication. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. You should take the right dose, not more or less. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without the consent of your doctor. It may cause another complication or may worsen your current condition. For the best benefit from this product, take it regularly.
What are the side effects of Propafenone?
Common side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Ringing in your ears
- Blurred vision
- Unusual dreams
- Shortness of breath
- Fast or slow heartbeat
- Redness, warmth, or tingly feeling under your skin
- Salty, metallic, unpleasant, or unusual taste in the mouth
Call your doctor if these occur:
- Swelling in your arms or legs
- Sudden weight gain
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath even mild exertion
Get emergency medical help if you have these signs of an allergic reaction:
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling of your face, lips, throat, or tongue
Warnings and Precautions
- While having this treatment, limit alcoholic beverages. It may increase your risk of side effects or may worsen your condition.
- Propafenone may make you feel dizzy or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that needs your full alertness.
- Before having this drug, let your doctor know if you have any medical history especially breathing problems, liver problems, or kidney problems.
- During pregnancy, this drug should only be used when needed. If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first.
- This may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun and use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when outside.
- Tell your doctor if you are allergic to this medicine. This may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. If an allergic reaction occurs, call for medical help right away.
- Do not share this drug with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
- Use this with caution in elderly people, those with asthma, enlarged heart, heart failure, and structural heart disease.
- This drug should not be used in people with severe electrical conduction disturbances within the heart.
- This should also not be used in people whose irregular heartbeat is related to a problem with the sinus node in their heart.
- Propafenone is not recommended in people with a very slow heart rate and very low blood pressure.
- Keep this prescription far from moisture, heat, and reach of children.