Generic name: PropafenoneBrand names: Rythmol
Rythmol is used to help correct certain life-threatening heartbeat irregularities (ventricular arrhythmias).
There is a possibility that Rythmol may cause new heartbeat irregularities or make the existing ones worse. Rythmol is therefore used only for serious problems, and should be accompanied by periodic electrocardiograms (EKGs) prior to and during treatment. Discuss this with your doctor.
Rythmol may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
Take Rythmol exactly as prescribed. It works best when there is a constant amount of the drug in the blood, so you should take it at evenly spaced intervals.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Rythmol.
The most common side effects affect the digestive, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. The most serious are heartbeat abnormalities.
Do not take Rythmol if you have ever had an allergic reaction to or are sensitive to it. Your doctor will not prescribe Rythmol if you are suffering from any of the following conditions:Abnormally slow heartbeatCertain heartbeat irregularities, such as atrioventricular block or "sick sinus" syndrome, that have not been corrected by a pacemakerCardiogenic shock (shock due to a weak heart)Chronic bronchitis or emphysemaCongestive heart failure that is not well controlledMineral (electrolyte) imbalanceSevere low blood pressure
If you have congestive heart failure, this condition must be brought under full medical control before you start taking Rythmol.
If you have a pacemaker, the pacemaker's settings must be monitored—and possibly reprogrammed—while you are taking Rythmol.
There is some risk that Rythmol may interfere with your body's normal ability to manufacture blood cells. Too few white blood cells may cause signs and symptoms that mimic infection. If you experience fever, chills, or sore throat while taking Rythmol—especially during the first 3 months of treatment—notify your doctor right away.
Rythmol may cause a lupus-like illness characterized by rashes and arthritic symptoms. If you have been taking Rythmol and testing shows that your blood contains ANA (antinuclear antibodies), your doctor may want to discontinue the medication.
If Rythmol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Rythmol with the following:Beta-blockers such as propranolol and metoprololCimetidineCyclosporineDigoxinLocal anesthetics (such as the type used during dental work)QuinidineRifampinTheophyllineWarfarin
There may be certain other psychiatric, antidepressant, antifungal, or antibiotic drugs that could possibly cause a reaction if combined with Rythmol. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any of these types of medications.
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Because of a possible risk of birth defects, Rythmol is not recommended during pregnancy unless the benefit to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the unborn baby.
It is not known whether Rythmol appears in breast milk. You are advised not to take Rythmol if you are nursing a baby. If treatment with Rythmol is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
In most cases, treatment with Rythmol begins in the hospital.
Your doctor will tailor your dosage according to your individual condition and the presence of other disorders.
The usual initial dose of Rythmol is 150 milligrams every 8 hours. Your doctor may increase the dosage depending on how you respond to the initial dosage. The maximum recommended daily dosage of Rythmol is 900 milligrams.
Safety and effectiveness have not been established in children.
The doctor will increase the dosage more slowly at the beginning of treatment.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Rythmol, seek medical attention immediately.