procainamide - oral, Procanbid, Pronestyl (cont.)
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking procainamide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to local anesthetics (e.g., procaine); or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain heart problems (second- or third-degree atrioventricular block or bundle branch block unless you have a heart pacemaker), a certain immune problem (lupus).Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: first-degree atrioventricular block, new or recent heart attack, worsening chest pain (angina), low blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems, myasthenia gravis.Procainamide 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 require immediate medical attention. The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may affect the heart rhythm (see also Drug Interactions section). Before using procainamide, tell your doctor or pharmacist 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 procainamide safely.Contact your doctor immediately if you develop other illnesses/conditions such as prolonged diarrhea, large quantities of diarrhea, heavy sweating, vomiting, prolonged loss of appetite, or prolonged loss of desire to drink water. These conditions could cause you to have serious changes in blood minerals, leading to increased side effects.This drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy. 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.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because their bodies may not get rid of procainamide as easily, possibly leading to increased side effects.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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