Rythmol

Generic Name: Propafenone

  • What is Rythmol?

    Rythmol is used to help correct certain life-threatening heartbeat irregularities known as ventricular arrhythmias.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Rythmol?

    There is a possibility that Rythmol may cause new heartbeat irregularities or make existing ones worse. Rythmol is therefore used only for serious conditions, and should be accompanied by periodic electrocardiograms (EKGs) prior to and during treatment.

    Rythmol may interfere with your body's normal ability to manufacture blood cells. Too few white blood cells may cause signs and symptoms that mimic infection. If you experience fever, chills, or sore throat while taking Rythmol--especially during the first 3 months of treatment--notify your doctor right away.

    Patients taking Rythmol may develop an antibody called ANA (antinuclear antibodies). This may be related to a rare but serious side effect of a lupus-like illness characterized by rashes and arthritic symptoms. If you have been taking Rythmol and your blood tested positive for ANA, your doctor may want to monitor you closely, and even consider discontinuing the medication.

  • Who should not take Rythmol?

    Do not take Rythmol if you have ever had an allergic reaction to or are sensitive to it. Your doctor will not prescribe Rythmol if you are suffering from any of the following conditions: abnormally slow heartbeat; certain heartbeat irregularities such as atrioventricular block or "sick sinus" syndrome that have not been corrected by a pacemaker; cardiogenic shock (shock due to a weak heart); chronic bronchitis or emphysema; congestive heart failure that is not well controlled; mineral (electrolyte) imbalance; and severe low blood pressure.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with Rythmol. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have any other heart disease, heart problems, have a pacemaker, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), any other breathing disorder, liver disease, kidney disease, or myasthenia gravis.

  • 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.

    In most cases, treatment with Rythmol begins in the hospital. Your doctor will tailor your dosage according to your individual condition and the presence of other disorders.

    Adults: The usual initial dose of Rythmol is 150 milligrams (mg) every 8 hours. Your doctor may increase the dosage at a minimum of 3- to 4-day intervals, depending on how you respond to the initial dosage. If you are an older adult, your doctor will increase the dosage more slowly at the beginning of treatment. The maximum recommended daily dosage of Rythmol is 900 mg.

  • How should I take Rythmol?

    Rythmol may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.

    Take Rythmol exactly as prescribed. It works best when there is a constant amount of the drug in the blood; take it at evenly spaced intervals.

  • What should I avoid while taking Rythmol?

    Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities that require mental alertness while taking Rythmol.

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

    If Rythmol 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 Rythmol with the following: amiodarone, beta blockers, cimetidine, cyclosporine, digoxin, grapefruit juice, local anesthetics (including those used during dental procedures), quinidine, rifampin, theophylline, and warfarin.

    There may be certain other psychiatric, antidepressant, antifungal, or antibiotic drugs that could possibly cause a reaction if combined with Rythmol. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any of these types of medications.

  • What are the possible side effects of Rythmol?

    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: constipation, blurred vision, dizziness, fatigue, headache, heartbeat abnormalities, nausea, unusual taste in the mouth, vomiting, weakness

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

    The effects of Rythmol during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are taking Rythmol and are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Rythmol?

    Take Rythmol as soon as you remember if it is within 4 hours of your scheduled time. If you do not remember until later, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Take the next dose as scheduled. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Rythmol?

    Keep Rythmol at room temperature in a tightly closed container away from direct light.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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