Though this medication often gives great benefits to people with irregular heartbeat, it may infrequently cause a serious new irregular heartbeat. Therefore, when starting treatment with this drug, your doctor may recommend that you stay in the hospital for proper monitoring and emergency medical treatment if needed. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking this medication.Who should not take disopyramide?
This medication is used to treat certain types of serious (possibly fatal) irregular heartbeat, such as persistent ventricular tachycardia. It is used to restore normal heart rhythm and maintain a regular, steady heartbeat. Disopyramide is known as an anti-arrhythmic drug. It works by blocking 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.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you are taking the immediate-release form, you will usually take it 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
If you are taking the extended-release form, you will usually take it twice a day or as directed by your doctor. Swallow extended-release capsules whole. Do not crush or chew extended-release capsules or tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
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.
See also Warning section.
Dry mouth, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain/gas/bloating, blurred vision, dry nose/eyes/throat, and urination problems (such as difficulty urinating or unusual frequent urge to urinate) may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: symptoms of low blood sugar (such as shakiness with unusual hunger/headache/sweating), signs of liver problems (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), muscle weakness, worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as ankle/leg swelling, increased tiredness, increased shortness of breath when lying down).
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.
In the US -
Before taking disopyramide, 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: diabetes, glaucoma, kidney disease, liver problems, myasthenia gravis, urinary problems (such as due to enlarged prostate, urinary retention).
This drug may rarely make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
Disopyramide may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in 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 disopyramide, 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 disopyramide safely.
This drug may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially if you have diabetes, heart failure, decreased kidney/liver function, or nutrition problems. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of low blood sugar including sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. If you have diabetes, your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet may need to be adjusted.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially urination problems and QT prolongation (see above).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Rarely, disopyramide may cause early labor during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk, and the effect on a nursing infant is unknown. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: fingolimod, certain calcium channel blockers (diltiazem and verapamil).
Many drugs besides disopyramide may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, flecainide, ketoconazole, 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 disopyramide from your body, which may affect how disopyramide works. Examples include phenobarbital, phenytoin, and rifampin, among others.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: fainting, new irregular heartbeat, slowed breathing.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as EKG) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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