procainamide, Pronestyl; Procan-SR; Procanbid (These brands no longer are available in the U.S.)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

GENERIC NAME: procainamide

BRAND NAME: Pronestyl, Procan-SR, Procanbid (These brands no longer are available in the U.S.)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: 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.



PREPARATIONS: Injection: 100 and 500 mg/ml.

STORAGE: Procainamide may be kept at room temperature. If diluted, it is stable for 24 hours at room temperature or seven days if refrigerated at 2 C to 8 C (35 F to 46 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Procainamide is an antiarrhythmic drug used in the treatment of abnormal heart rhythms such as:

  • early (premature) atrial and ventricular beats;
  • intermittent rapid rhythms (tachycardias) involving the atria and atrio-ventricular (AV) junction as well as abnormal pathways (bypass tracts) between the atria and ventricles;
  • intermittent atrial fibrillation and flutter;
  • after conversion from atrial fibrillation or flutter to prevent recurrence; and
  • ventricular tachycardia.

DOSING: An intravenous dose of 15 to 18 mg/kg may be administered over 25-30 minutes to adults. The initial dose is followed with a maintenance dose of 1-4 mg/min. Dose adjustments (reductions) are recommended in patients with liver and renal problems.

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