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What is Flecainide?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 14 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Flecainide is a sodium channel blocker capable of correcting dangerously fast heart rhythms, known as tachycardias. A doctor may prescribe this medication for a patient with a potentially fatal arrhythmia to control the heart beat and keep the patient stable. This medication can be extremely dangerous, and doctors prescribe it with caution, making sure it is appropriate for a patient, and being careful with the dosage to reduce the risk of severe complications.

This medication can slow or stop a tachycardia, forcing the heart to beat more slowly. It can also improve the regularity of the heart beat. Patients on flecainide take a pill at the same time each day. The dosage depends on body weight, how well the patient responds to the drug, and other factors. It is important for patients to discuss all medications and over-the-counter drugs they are taking, as flecainide can potentially interact badly with other medications, increasing the risk of severe side effects.

In patients with a history of heart attack, taking flecainide appears to increase the risk of experiencing another heart attack. The drug can also be dangerous for people with existing heart disease, particularly congestive heart failure. In patients with congenital heart conditions and other heart problems, a doctor may not prescribe flecainide, even in cases of dangerous arrhythmias, due to concerns about making the conditions worse.

When a doctor prescribes this drug, patients should pay close attention to the dosing instructions and any safety precautions delivered by the doctor. Patients who experience shortness of breath, a pounding sensation in the heart, dizziness, or weakness while taking flecainide should contact their doctors immediately to discuss these side effects. They could be a sign of an adverse reaction, including a complication. When patients react badly to the medication, a doctor will note this in the patient chart to make sure the drug is not used in the future.

Flecainide must be stored in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children and pets. Adults in the household should be made aware of the fact that the medication can be dangerous in people for whom it has not been prescribed. When taking the medication, it is important to take the correct number of pills, splitting them if necessary to achieve the dosage a doctor prescribes. Any questions about how to use or handle the medication can be directed to a pharmacist.

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