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Healthnotes Index:

Procainamide

Pronounced

"pro-CANE-uh-mide"

Common brand names:

Procan SR

Uses

This medication is used to treat a certain serious (possibly life-threatening), persistent, abnormally fast heartbeat (sustained ventricular tachycardia). Procainamide belongs to a class of drugs known as antidysrhythmics. It works by blocking the abnormal electrical activity of an abnormal heartbeat so that the normal heartbeat can occur.

How to Use This Medication

This medication may be started at a low dose in the hospital so that your doctor can determine the best dose, increase it gradually as needed, and monitor you closely for side effects.

Different kinds of procainamide taken by mouth should be taken in different ways. Each time you get a refill, make sure you have received the correct kind of procainamide. Do not change kinds of procainamide unless directed by your doctor. Doing so could increase side effects or decrease the effectiveness of the medication.

Take this medication by mouth exactly as prescribed by your doctor. You may take it with or without food, but it is important to choose one way and take it consistently, either with or without food. Depending on the kind of procainamide you are prescribed, take it 2-4 times daily as directed.

If you are taking the extended-release tablet, do not crush or chew them. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing. You may see the empty extended-release tablet shell in your stool. This is harmless.

Dosage is based on your medical condition, kidney/liver function, how fast your body gets rid of procainamide, other medications you may be taking, and response to therapy.

This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is very important to avoid running out of this medication. Therefore, always order your refills several days early.

Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it (or other heart medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause your abnormal heartbeat to return.

Contact your doctor immediately and seek emergency medical attention (e.g., call -911, have someone else drive you to a hospital emergency room) if your condition persists or worsens.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

RxAnswers™ is a copyrighted combined product from Aisle7 and First DataBank, Inc.

Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

This information is intended only for residents of the United States. Products sold under the same brand names in other countries may contain different ingredients.

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There are some limitations on the information provided in “Nutrient Interactions.” Do NOT rely solely on the information in this article. Please read the disclaimer.

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Aisle7 and/or its suppliers make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of this content herein or that of any organization referred or linked to within this content and will not be liable for any damages arising out of your access to or use of any information found herein or that of any organization referred to within this content.

Information expires June 2015.



 
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