Taking antiarrhythmic drugs, including disopyramide, may increase the risk of death. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease such as a valve problem or heart failure (HF; condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to other parts of the body). If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: irregular heartbeat or chest pain.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking disopyramide. Disopyramide may increase the chance of having arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and has not been proven to help people without life-threatening arrhythmias to live longer.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Disopyramide is used to treat certain types of irregular heartbeats). Disopyramide is in a class of medications called antiarrhythmic medications. It works by making your heart more resistant to abnormal activity.
How should this medicine be used?
Disopyramide comes as a capsule and an extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. Disopyramide capsules may be taken every 6 or 8 hours. The extended-release capsule is usually taken every 12 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take disopyramide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release capsules; do not open, crush, or chew them.
Disopyramide helps control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take disopyramide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking disopyramide without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking disopyramide,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to disopyramide, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in disopyramide capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: clarithromycin, erythromycin (E.E.S., Eryc, Erythrocin, others), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), propranolol (Inderal, Innopran), and verapamil (Calan, Tarka, Verelan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have heart block (condition in which electrical signals are not passed normally from the upper chambers of the heart to the lower chambers) or have or have ever had a prolonged QT interval (condition that increases the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat that may cause fainting or sudden death). Your doctor may tell you not to take disopyramide.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease, low or high blood levels of potassium in your blood, diabetes, glaucoma, myasthenia gravis (a disorder of the nervous system that causes muscle weakness), urinary retention, benign prostatic hypertrophy, kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking disopyramide, call your doctor.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking disopyramide if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take disopyramide because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking disopyramide.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking disopyramide. Alcohol can make the side effects from disopyramide worse.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Disopyramide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- difficult urination
- frequent urination
- dry mouth
- blurred vision
- stomach pain or bloating
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- chest pain
- swelling of the feet or hands
- unusual weight gain
- irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- sudden changes in mental status
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- dry mouth
- difficulty urinating
- loss of consciousness
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will need to determine your response to disopyramide.
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.
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