GENERIC NAME: propafenone
BRAND NAME: Rythmol, Rythmol SR
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Propafenone is used to treat abnormalities of of rhythm in the heart. (It is an anti-arrhythmic drug.) The normal rhythm of the heart is dependent on the conduction of electrical impulses through the heart's muscle cells. The conduction of the impulses is dependent on channels in the muscle that transport sodium across the cells' borders. Propafenone blocks these channels and alters the conduction of electrical impulses through the muscle cells of the heart.. Propafenone slows conduction throughout the heart and is referred to as a type IC anti-arrhythmic. Propafenone also has some beta adrenergic receptor blocking properties, and, to a lesser extent, calcium channel blocking effect. These are class II and class IV properties, respectively. Propafenone also blocks electrical conduction through accessory pathways, such as seen in WPW syndrome. The FDA approved propafenone in November 1989.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Propafenone is an anti-arrhythmic agent approved for use in patients with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias, such as ventricular tachycardia. Propafenone is also effective in suppressing the recurrence of atrial fibrillation and supra-ventricular tachycardia once normal sinus rhythm has been restored. Propafenone is at least as effective as any other type I agent in converting atrial fibrillation to normal sinus rhythm. Propafenone is effective in atrial tachycardia, AV nodal tachycardia, and bypass tract tachycardias.
SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects of propafenone are:
Quick GuideHeart Disease Pictures Slideshow: Coronary Artery Disease
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