Trade Name: Norpace, Rythmodan.
Prescription is required
Disopyramide is a regulator of cardiac rhythm that is used in arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and tachycardia (heart rate too fast).
The starting dose is 100 mg every 6 hours, if not sufficient, it is possible to increase the dose to 150 or 200 mg after a few days. When a dose is missed, it is better taken as soon as possible but if let the next dose, it should be taken within 4 hours.
ADVERSE EFFECTS In case of allergy or previous reactions to negative as disopyramide in heart failure, you must refrain from taking this drug. People who have difficulty urinating and men whose prostate volume is increased can have their problems compounded by disopyramide.
Glaucoma, diseases of the liver and kidneys, and myasthenia gravis request that this medication be used with caution, probably lower dose. Pregnant or lactating women should abstain, unless it is unavoidable.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS Side effects that occur most often do not necessarily prevent the continuation of treatment: dryness of the mouth, nose and eyes, for example, which can last several weeks and can chew sugar-free gum or sucking ice cubes to reduce this drawback.
A feeling of tiredness may occur. Flatulence (intestinal gas), constipation, stomach pain, nausea, headaches, insomnia and decreased sexual ability are also possible.
This powerful drug can cause serious disturbances. The difficulty is frequent urination. Less often, people have allergic reactions with hives, a rash and itching. Of chest pain may occur, as well as dizziness, mental confusion, muscle weakness, swelling ankles or feet, shortness of breath, sudden changes in heart rate and a rapid increase in weight.
Very rarely it happens that people experience eye pain (possible sign of glaucoma), depression, jaundice and hypoglycemia; latter problem leads to anxiety, chills, sweats, apathy, nausea, tremors, weakness or unusual fatigue.
DRUG INTERACTIONS You must not take disopyramide together with anticoagulants, or other antihypertensive drugs for the heart. Hydantoins may stimulate the metabolism of disopyramide and thus reduce its effectiveness; barbiturates, primidone, and rifampin possibly give the same result.
It is important to correct any deficiency of potassium prior to initiating treatment with disopyramide and its effectiveness is indeed reduced in patients with hypokalemia and its toxicity is increased when hyperkalemia.
PRECAUTIONS It is important to take each dose at the times indicated and continue the treatment even if symptoms are gone. You should never decide yourself to stop taking disopyramide, because stopping the drug, impaired heart rate would resume.
Such as dizziness and even loss of consciousness may occur as a result of this drug may be dangerous to drive a car or heavy machinery. Slowly changing position (to get up, lie down, etc.), you can however avoid most of dizziness. Alcohol increases the likelihood of these symptoms and it is best to abstain.
Regular visits to the doctor are necessary, because close monitoring is a major asset in the prevention of serious side effects; in particular, it is advisable to make immediate contact with his doctor in case of syncope, and shortness of breath vision problems or weakness.
Photosensitization is possible with this medication should therefore carefully exposed to sunlight and tanning lamps.
OVERALL ASSESSMENT Disopyramide is a useful drug in severe cases, because of its significant side effects, it is necessary that a specialist in cardiology follow closely the evolution of those who use it. The majority of The Medical Letter consultants reserve disopyramide for patients who cannot tolerate quinidine or procainamide.