Norpace

Generic Name: Disopyramide phosphate

  • What is Norpace?

    Norpace is used to treat severe irregular heartbeat. It relaxes an overactive heart and improves the efficiency of the heart's pumping action.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Norpace?

    Norpace may cause or worsen congestive heart failure and can cause severe low blood pressure. If you have a history of heart failure, your doctor will carefully monitor your heart function while you are taking Norpace.

    Do not stop taking Norpace without first consulting your doctor. Stopping suddenly can cause serious changes in heart function.

    Your doctor should check your potassium levels before prescribing Norpace for you. Low potassium levels may make Norpace ineffective; high levels may increase its toxic effects.

    Norpace can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially if you have congestive heart failure; poor nutrition; or kidney, liver, or other diseases; or if you are taking beta-blocking blood pressure drugs such as Tenormin or if you drink alcohol.

  • Who should not take Norpace?

    This drug should not be used if the blood output of your heart is inadequate (cardiogenic shock), or if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Norpace.

    Norpace can be used for only certain types of irregular heartbeat, and must not be used for others.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Norpace?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Norpace. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of heart failure, structural heart disease, inflammation of the heart muscle, or other heart disorders, kidney or liver disease, glaucoma (increased eye pressure), myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disorder characterized by fluctuating muscle weakness), or difficulty urinating (particularly if you have a prostate condition), or low or high levels of potassium in your blood.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Treatment with Norpace should be started in the hospital.

    Your doctor will adjust your dosage according to your own response to, and tolerance of, Norpace.

    Adults: The usual dosage range of Norpace and Norpace controlled-release (CR) is 400 milligrams (mg) to 800 mg per day, divided into smaller doses.

    There are very specific calculations for your starting dose and dosage increase schedule based on your age, weight, medical condition, and other medication that you are taking. Contact your doctor for more information.

    Children: Dosage in children to age 18 is based on body weight. The total daily dosage should be divided into equal doses taken orally every 6 hours or at intervals that are best for the individual.

  • How should I take Norpace?

    Take each dose with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break any CR forms of Norpace. Swallow them whole. Do not skip doses or change your dosing schedule without talking to your doctor. Changing your schedule could make your condition much worse.
  • What should I avoid while taking Norpace?

    Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking Norpace.

    Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other potentially hazardous activities. Disopyramide may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. If you experience any of these conditions, avoid potentially hazardous activities.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Norpace?

    If Norpace is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Norpace with the following: alcohol; clarithromycin; erythromycin; heart-regulating drugs such as quinidine, procainamide, lidocaine, propranolol; phenytoin; and verapamil.
  • What are the possible side effects of Norpace?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, aches and pains, bloating and gas, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, dry eyes, nose, and throat, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, inability to urinate, increased urinary frequency and urgency, muscle weakness, nausea, vague feeling of bodily discomfort

    Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

  • Can I receive Norpace if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Norpace during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Norpace?

    If you do miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
  • How should I store Norpace?

    Store Norpace at room temperature away from moisture and heat.