This medication is used to treat certain types of serious (possibly fatal) irregular heartbeat (such as sustained 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.
How to use Disopyramide Phosphate
If you are taking the extended-release form, take it as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day. 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. Swallow the whole tablet without crushing or chewing.
The dosage is based on your age, 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.
See also Warning section.
Dry mouth, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain/gas/bloating, blurred vision, dizziness, dry nose/eyes/throat, and urination problems (such as difficulty urinating or unusual frequent urge to urinate) may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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 you have any serious side effects, including: symptoms of low blood sugar (such as shakiness with unusual hunger/headache/sweating), signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), muscle weakness, worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, faster/more irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Though this medication often gives great benefits to people with irregular heartbeat, it may rarely cause a serious new irregular heartbeat. 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.
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. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) 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 (cannabis).
Disopyramide 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 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 right away 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.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
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 phenytoin, saquinavir, among others.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. 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.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications 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.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.