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Procainamide - Side Effects, Uses and Benefits

Type of Drug:

A drug used for specific types of irregular heartbeats.

How the Procainamide product Works:

Procainamide slows the rate at which nerve impulses are conducted through the heart and reduces the tendency of the heart to beat irregularly.

Uses of The Procainamide:

To treat documented life-threatening heart rhythm disturbances.

Lupus erythematosus - like syndrome: A syndrome similar to systemic lupus erythematosus may occur (see Side Effects). Contact your doctor if symptoms develop .

Precautions:

Pregnancy: Procainamide crosses the placenta. Adequate studies have not been done in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and potential benefits outweigh the possible hazards to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: Procainamide is excreted in breast milk. Because of the potential for adverse effects, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Contact your doctor.

Children: Safety and effectiveness have not been esablished.

Lab Tests: Lab tests may be required during treatment with procainamide. Tests may include: Electrocardiograms, procainamide blood levels and blood counts.

Tartrazine: Some of these products may contain the dye tartrazine (FD&C Yellow No.5) which can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. Check package label when available or consult your doctor or pharamacist.

Drug Interactions:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or if you are planning to take any over-the-counter or prescription medications with procainamide. Doses of one or both drugs may need to be modified or a different drug may need to be prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes interact with procainamide.

  • Alcohol beta-blockers (eg, propranolol)

  • Histamine H antagonists (eg, cimetidine)

  • Lidocaine (eg, Xylocaine)

  • Quinidine (eg, Quinora)

  • Succinylcholine (eg, Sucostrin)

  • Trimethoprim (eg, Proloprim)

Side Effects:

Every drug is capable of producing side effects. Many procainamide users experience no, or minor, side effects. The frequency and severity of side effects depend on many factors including dose, duration of therapy and individual susceptibility. Possible side effects include:

Lupus Erythematosus-like Syndrome: Joint pain or stiffness; skin lesions; muscle aches; chest pain with breathing; fever; chills; abdominal pain.

Digestive Tract: Appetite loss; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; abdominal pain.

Nervous System: Depression; dizziness; weakness; giddiness; hallucinations.

Skin: Rash; itching; hives; flushing.

Other: Irregular heartbeat; fibrillation; bitter taste.

Guidelines for Use:

  • Notify your doctor of any drug allergies, especially to procaine, other local anesthetic agents or aspirin, and report any history of kidney disease, congestive heart failure, myasthenia gravis, liver disease or lupus erythematosus.

  • Notify your doctor promptly of the following symptoms: joint or muscle pain, fever, chills, rash, easy bruising, sore throat or mouth, infections, dark urine, yellowing of skin or eyes, wheezing, muscular weakness, chest or abdominal pain, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, diarrhea, hallucinations, dizziness or depression .

  • Do not break or chow sustained-release tablets.

 

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