GENERIC NAME: propafenone
BRAND NAME: Rythmol, Rythmol SR
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
- 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.
Common side effects of propafenone are:
- Blurred vision
- Unusual taste
- Reduced cardiac conduction
- Nausea and vomiting
Serious side effects of propafenone include:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Increased rate of cardiac arrest
- Abnormal heart beats
- Aggravation of myasthenia gravis
- Increased rate of death
- Congestive heart failure
Because of its beta blocking activity, propafenone must be used with caution in patients with weak heart muscle (congestive heart failure), slow heart rate, any form of heart electrical conduction block, low blood pressure, or asthma.
The most serious side effect of propafenone is the causing of serious life- threatening irregular heart rhythms (ventricular arrhythmias or pro-arrhythmia) or heart block. It is for this reason that propafenone is started and doses increased while patients are hospitalized in a monitored setting.
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