Brand Name(s): Pronestyl, Procan, Procanbid, Drug Class: anti-arrhythmic
Treats: atrial beats, ventricular beats, tachycardias, atrial fibrillation, Heart rhythm disorders, Palpitations,
Procainamide is classified as an antiarrhythmic drug, and it stabilizes the heart rhythm when the heart beats too fast irregularly. Procainamide works by decreasing electrical conduction speed through the heart muscle. It also extends the electrical stage whereby the cells of the heart"s muscle can be stimulated electrically, and extends the recovery time whereby the heart muscle cells can"t be stimulated.
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Procainamide treats abnormal heart rhythms and works by making the heart more resistant to abnormal body activities. It is also used to treat particular severe and fatal, irregular heartbeats known as ventricular tachycardia. Procainamide functions by restoring the normal rhythm of the heart and keeping an even, steady heartbeat by blocking some electrical signals that can lead to irregular heartbeats. The abnormal heart rhythms that procainamide treats include:
- Early atrial and ventricular heartbeats
- Irregular atrial fibrillation
- Ventricular tachycardia
- After a change from atrial fibrillation heart beat to prevent reappearance.
Procainamide dosage is divided into IV and IM administration. Procainamide dosage should never be given to a patient with a normal heart rhythm since it can be dangerous, and can lead to a critically slow and irregular rhythm.
- The IM administration is given as 0.5 to 1 g every 4 to 8 hours with a maximum of 4 grams per day. For IV administration, a dose of 15 to 18 milligram per kilogram may be given over 25-30 minutes to adults. The first dose is followed by maintaining a dose of 1-4 milligram per minute.
- In children, IV or IM procainamide dose depends on both their weight and age monitored by a doctor. Infants normally require a loading dose.
When you miss a dose, take it the moment you remember. However, if it"s time for the next dose, avoid taking the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule.
Procainamide Side Effects
Procainamide has several side effects, but many people do not have or have minor, side effects. Consult your doctor immediately if any of these most common side effects are persistent or bother you. Common reactions include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, rash, slow heartbeat, itching and flushing. Seek medical attention straightaway if any of these severe procainamide side effects occur:
- Rash on the face
- Dark urine
- Fever, chills, or sore throat
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Loss of appetite
- Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- Mouth sores or irritation
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hallucinations and mood or mental changes
- Seizures; stomach pain
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Severe or persistent tiredness
- Swollen or tender joints
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
There are some health conditions that may interact with procainamide. Inform your pharmacist or doctor especially if any of the following medical conditions apply to you:
- if you plan to get pregnant, are pregnant, or are breast-feeding,
- if you are using prescribed or non-prescription medicine, herbal products,
- if you are allergic to medicines and certain foods.
Some drugs that may interact with procainamide include: