Procainamide is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. It works by making your heart more resistant to abnormal activity.
Side Effects Of Procainamide
Procainamide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- loss of appetite
- upset stomach
- bitter taste
If you experience the following symptom or any of those listed in the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
- irregular heartbeat
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking procainamide:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to procainamide, anesthetics, aspirin, or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially digoxin (Lanoxin) or drugs for high blood pressure, and vitamins.
- in addition to the condition listed in the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS section, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lupus, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, or myasthenia gravis.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking procainamide, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking procainamide.
- you should know that this drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the dizziness caused by this drug.
- talk to your doctor about the use of cigarettes and caffeine-containing beverages. These products may increase the irritability of your heart and interfere with the action of procainamide.
Procainamide comes as a capsule and tablet to take by mouth. Immediate-acting procainamide usually is taken every 3 or 4 hours. The long-acting product is usually taken every 6 or 12 hours. Do not cut, crush, or chew extended-release (long-acting) tablets; swallow them whole. You may see a waxy core in your stool if you are taking the extended-release product; this is normal.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take procainamide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Procainamide helps control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take procainamide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking procainamide without talking to your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will need to determine your response to procainamide.
Take procainamide at the same time each day in regularly spaced intervals. Changing the time of your doses prevents procainamide from working effectively.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.