Generic Name : PROCAINAMIDE
Pronunciation : (proe kane a mide)
Trade Name(s) : Pronestyl
Why it is prescribed: Procainamide is used to treat irregular heartbeat. It relaxes an overactive heart and improves the efficiency of the heart's pumping action.
When it is to be taken: Procainamide is taken every four or six hours. Follow the instructions on your prescription label, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand. It is important that you take proclainamide regularly on the exact schedule prescribed for you, even if you must awaken during the night to take it. Do not skip doses because irregular heartbeats may develop.
How it should be taken: Procainamide comes in tablets and extended-release tablets and capsules. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose. Do not chew or crush extended-release tablets; swallow them whole.
Special Instruction :
1. Keep all appointments with your doctor so that your response to this drug can be determined. You probably will have an electrocardiogram done periodically.
2. Do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor. Be sure that you have enough medication on hand at all times.
3. Follow your doctor's advice on diet, exercise, and smoking.
4. Cigarettes and caffeine-containing beverages may increase the irritability of your heart and interfere with the action of procainamide.
5. If you take procainamide every six hours and remember a missed dose less than three hours before your next scheduled dose, take it immediately but skip your next scheduled dose; then resume your regular schedule. However, if you remember a missed dose more than three hours before your next scheduled dose, take it immediately and resume your regular schedule. Similarly, if you take procainamide every four hours and remember a missed dose less than two hours before your next scheduled dose, take it immediately but skip your next scheduled dose; then resume your regular schedule. However, if you remember a missed dose more than two hours before your next scheduled dose, take it immediately and resume your regular schedule.
Side Effects :
1. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bitter taste, loss of appetite. Contact your doctor if these effects are severe.
2. Chills; fever; joint pain; muscle aches ; sore throat, mouth, or gums; itching; skin redness, rash, or sores; fatigue; unusual bleeding or bruising; difficulty breathing; coughing up thick yellow or green sputum; weakness; headache; faintness. Contact your doctor immediately.
Other Precautions :
1. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should inform their doctors.
2. Before you take this drug, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, especially cimetidine, ranitidine, disopyramide, high blood pressure medication, phenytoin, propranolol, and guanidine.
3. If you ever had an allergic reaction to a local anesthetic such as procaine, or beverages, tell your doctor before taking proainamide.
4. Before taking procainamide, tell your doctor if you have myasthenia gravis or liver, kidney or heart disease.
Storage Conditions :
1. Keep this medication in the container it came in, and out of the reach of children.
2. Store it at room temperature