Propafenone is used to slow down the heart rate and help regulate the heartbeat. It is used to treat and prevent abnormal heart rhythm.
Take Propafenone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine is available as a film-coated tablet, or as capsule in extended or sustained-release form.
If you are taking the film-coated tablet, take it together with food or immediately after a meal. Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not chew or crush the tablet.
If you are taking the extended-release or sustained-release capsule (usually labeled as “ER” or “SR”), take it with or without food. Swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the capsule.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of your treatment depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Propafenone must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- uncontrolled heart failure, slow heart rate, or any other heart problems
- recent heart attack (within the last 3 months)
- heart block in the absence of an artificial pacemaker (device placed in the chest that helps control your heartbeat)
- Brugada syndrome (an inherited heart rhythm disorder)
- severely low blood pressure
- imbalance of minerals in the body e.g. potassium, magnesium
- severe lung disease or other breathing problems
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Propafenone with medicine for HIV infection such as ritonavir.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- mild to moderate lung disease e.g. asthma
- an implanted artificial pacemaker
- liver disease
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to an elderly.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery or dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Propafenone.
This medicine is metabolized in your body by an enzyme known as CYP2D6. Individuals who lack CYP2D6 enzyme activity (CYP2D6 poor metabolisers) may experience higher Propafenone blood levels leading to an increased risk of side effects (e.g. slow heartbeat). Although not routinely done, your doctor may advise you to undergo genetic testing to check if this medicine is best suited for you. If you know you have this gene type, inform your doctor.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Your doctor may need to perform an ECG (test used to record the electrical activity of the heart) while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring of your vital signs, blood pressure, pulse rate and pacemaker function (if any) may also be needed.
Propafenone may cause dizziness, tiredness or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhoea, stomach wind, constipation, altered taste, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes, face or mouth
- chest pain or tightness, palpitation, irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath, swelling of the legs or ankles
- unusual bruising
- frequent and persistent sore throat with fever
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, severe stomach pain, unusual tiredness, dark coloured urine
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Propafenone with ritonavir (medicine for HIV infection).
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. amiodarone, quinidine
- medicines for high blood pressure and heart disease e.g. metoprolol, propranolol, digoxin
- medicines to treat depression e.g. fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, desipramine
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin, phenprocoumon
- lidocaine (medicine to block pain and sensation)
- rifampicin (medicine to treat an infection known as TB or tuberculosis)
- ketoconazole (medicine to treat fungal infection)
- erythromycin (antibiotic)
- saquinavir (medicine for HIV infection)
- ciclosporin (medicine used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders)
- phenobarbital (medicine for fits or seizures)
- theophylline (asthma medicine)
- cimetidine (gastric medicine)
- orlistat (medicine for obesity)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Propafenone.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid taking this medicine with grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.