What is this medicine?
PROCAINAMIDE (proe kane A mide) is an antiarrhythmic drug. It helps make your heart beat regularly. This medicine also helps to slow rapid heartbeats.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly. This may cause serious, heart-related side effects. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in behavior, mood, or mental ability including mental depression
chest pain, palpitations
dark yellow or brown urine
feeling faint or lightheaded
fever, chills, or sore throat
irregular or fast heartbeat
joint or muscle pain
swelling of feet or legs
tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
unusual bruising, bleeding, or pinpoint red spots on the skin
unusually weak or tired
yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
certain macrolide antibiotics
certain quinolone antibiotics
medicines for malaria like chloroquine and halofantrine
medicines for mental depression such as tricyclic antidepressants
other medicines to control heart rhythm
phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, and thioridazine
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
anemia or blood disease
heart disease or previous heart attack
immune system problems, like lupus
low blood pressure
an unusual or allergic reaction to procainamide, procaine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Your condition will be monitored closely when you first begin therapy. Often, this drug is first started in a hospital or other monitored health care setting. Once you are on maintenance therapy, visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medicine and dosage times.
Check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly while you are taking this medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your heart rate and blood pressure should be, and when you should contact him or her. Your doctor or health care professional also may schedule regular blood tests and electrocardiograms to check your progress.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
The tablet shell for some brands of this medicine does not dissolve. This is normal. The tablet shell may appear whole in the stool. This is not a cause for concern.