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- What is procainamide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for procainamide?
- Is procainamide available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for procainamide?
- What are the side effects of procainamide?
- What is the dosage for procainamide?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with procainamide?
- Is procainamide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about procainamide?
What is procainamide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Procainamide is an injectable antiarrhythmic drug that is used to correct disturbances in the heart's rhythm. Three actions are responsible for its ability to correct disturbances of rhythm and prevent their recurrence. Procainamide decreases the speed of electrical conduction through the heart muscle, prolongs the electrical phase during which the heart's muscle cells can be electrically stimulated, and prolongs the recovery period during which the heart muscle cells cannot be stimulated. Procainamide was approved for use by the FDA in 1950.
What brand names are available for procainamide?
Pronestyl, Procan-SR, Procanbid (These brands no longer are available in the U.S.)
Is procainamide available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for procainamide?
What are the side effects of procainamide?
Common reactions include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, rash, low blood pressure, itching, flushing, and slow heart beat. Severe reactions include abnormal heart beats, seizures, heart arrest, and blood disorders.
A severe reduction in white blood cell count occurs relatively rarely with procainamide therapy and is more common with the sustained-release preparations. This side effect has caused death. For this reason, patients on sustained-release procainamide get a complete blood count test (CBC) every 2 weeks for the first 3 months of treatment. A syndrome resembling lupus erythematosus, including fever, chills, joint pain, chest pain, and/or skin rash can occur with procainamide. The lupus-like syndrome is reversible after stopping the drug. Rarely, procainamide can cause confusion, hallucinations, and depression.
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