Propafenone or propafenone hydrochloride is a drug  to treat certain heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias), such as supraventricular arrhythmias, ventricular arrhythmias, or atrial fibrations (AF ).

Propafenone is a class I antiarrhythmic drug that works by inhibiting the activity of the heart's electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats. This medicine will be given at the hospital by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.

Propafenone trademark: Rytmonorm

What is Propafenone

class Prescription drug
Category Antiarrhythmic
Benefit Treat supraventricular arrhythmias, ventricular arrhythmias, or atrial fibrillation
Used by Mature
Propafenone for pregnant and lactating women Category C:  Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

Propafenone can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug form Tablet

Precautions Before Taking Propafenone

The following are some things you need to pay attention to before taking propafenone:

  • Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Propafenone should not be used by patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor about your medical history. Propafenone should not be given to patients who have heart failure , AV block, cardiogenic shock , bradycardia, or hypotension .
  • Tell your doctor if you have had or have recently had a heart attack , heart rhythm disturbances, or Brugada syndrome .
  • Tell your doctor if you have or currently have liver disease, kidney disease, lupus , myasthenia gravis , asthma , COPD, or  an electrolyte imbalance .
  • Tell your doctor if you have an implanted pacemaker .
  • Do not drive or do activities that require alertness while taking propafenone, because this drug can cause dizziness .
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while on treatment with propafenone.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including supplements or herbal products.
  • Discuss and consult with your doctor about the risk of fertility problems due to propafenone.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking propafenone before having any medical procedure or surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • See a doctor immediately if you have an allergic drug reaction, serious side effects, or overdose, after taking propafenone.

Dosage  and Rules for Use of  Propafenone

The doctor will determine the dose and duration of treatment with propafenone based on your age, condition, and response to the drug. The following is the distribution of propafenone doses based on the patient's condition:

  • Conditions: Supraventricular or ventricular arrhythmias
    Initially 150 mg 3 times daily. Dosage may be increased to 225–300 mg 3–4 times daily for 3 days. The maximum dose is 300 mg per day.
  • Conditions: Atrial fibration (AF)
    Initial dose 225 mg twice daily. Dosage may be increased to 325–425 mg twice daily for 5 days according to patient response.

For patients weighing less than 70 kg and the elderly, the dose will be adjusted according to the patient's condition.

How to Take Propafenone Properly

Follow the doctor 's recommendations and read the information listed on the drug packaging before taking propafenone. Do not increase or decrease your dose without consulting your doctor first.

Propafenone can be taken before or after meals. Use plain water to swallow the tablets. Do not chew, split or crush the tablets as this may increase your risk of side effects.

If you forget to take propafenone, take this medicine immediately if it is not near the time for your next dose. If it is near, skip the missed dose. Do not double the dose of propranolol to make up for a missed dose.

During treatment with propafenone, you will have an  electrocardiogram  (ECG), blood pressure, or complete blood test regularly.

Avoid consuming  grapefruit while taking propafenone, because it can increase the risk of side effects.

Store propafenone at room temperature and avoid direct sunlight. Keep this drug out of reach of children.

Propafenone Interactions  with Other Drugs

There are several interactions that can occur if propafenone is taken with certain drugs, including:

  • Increased blood levels of propafenone when used with ritonavir, quinidine , fluoxetine, cimetidine , ketoconazole, erythromycin , or sertraline
  • Increased risk of side effects when used with lidocaine, beta-blocking drugs , or tricyclic antidepressants
  • Decreased blood levels of propafenone when used with phenobarbital, rifampicin , or orlistat
  • Increased risk of proarrhythmias, i.e. development of a new type of arrhythmia or reappearance of an old arrhythmia, when used with amiodarone
  • Elevated levels of theophylline , digoxin, ciclosporin , or warfarin

Propafenone Side Effects and Dangers

There are several side effects that can arise from the use of propafenone, namely:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Unusual headache , dizziness, or tiredness
  • Taste disturbance, dry mouth , or loss of appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep disturbance or anxiety

Check with your doctor if the complaints mentioned above do not go away or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or experience more serious side effects, such as:

  • Shortness of breath , chest pain, or swelling in the hands and feet
  • Fast , slow, irregular , or pounding heart rate
  • Infectious disease, which can be characterized by the appearance of certain symptoms, such as fever , chills, sore throat
  • Liver disorders, which can be characterized by the appearance of certain symptoms, jaundice , persistent nausea and vomiting , abdominal pain , and dark urine
  • Very severe dizziness or fainting
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