Disopyramide

Brand names of disopyramide

  • Napamide
  • Norpace
  • Pisopyramide
  • Rythmical
  • Rythmodan

Disopyramide belongs to the group of drugs known as sodium channel blockers and is, hence, categorized under Class I anti-arrhythmic agents. This drug is prescribed for people enduring ventricular tachycardia, because it causes a negative inotropic impact on the myocardium of the ventricles, lessening the ability of the heart to contract considerably. In addition, disopyramide also blocks or inhibits the activities of acetylcholine (anticholinergic) on your heart, which is responsible for several negative side effects.

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In addition, disopyramide lessens the involuntary actions of the cardiac muscles, augments the refractory stage and also inhibits conduction. This medicament is believed to work in the form of a myocardial depressant and has the ability to discourage the heart muscles' ability to contract, in addition to producing anticholinergic consequences.

Disopyramide is available in two forms - oral as well as intravenous, having a poor level of toxicity. This drug comes in capsule form in doses of 100 mg and 150 mg both as generic medications and as a brand name drug called Norpace. An extended-release (also known as long-acting) form of the drug is available too. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States approved its sale and use in 1977. Presently, disopyramide is indicated for grave ventricular tachycardia and containment of symptomatic premature contractions of the ventricles. Besides, this medicament is also useful for converting and maintaining the regular sinus rhythm in people suffering from flutter or atrial fibrillation.

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking disopyramide

Before you begin treatment with disopyramide, you need to inform your physician and pharmacist regarding all the prescription as well as over-the-counter drugs you are already using. It is also important to tell them if you have allergic reactions to disopyramide or any other medication.

Generally, aged people should not use disopyramide, as this medication is neither safe, nor as useful when compared to other different drugs that may be used to take care of similar conditions. Therefore, people who are about 65 years old or even older should talk to their physician about the advantages as well as dangers of taking this medication at their age.

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Prior to taking disopyramide for the very first time, you also need to let your physician know about your medical history, particularly related to high blood pressure (hypertension), congestive heart disease, any diseases concerning the liver or the kidneys, diabetes, retention of urine, myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness), glaucoma (an ailment related to the eyes), and/ or benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH.

Before taking this medicament, women ought to tell their physician if they are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. If any woman has or thinks she has become pregnant during treatment with disopyramide, she ought to call her physician for advice and guidance on what she needs to do next. New mothers taking this drug should also consult their physician before breast feeding.

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Use of disopyramide may result in drowsiness and consuming alcoholic beverages may augment the stupor caused owing to taking this medicament. Therefore, never use any machine or drive any vehicle till you are sure regarding the impact of this drug on your body and also till the time when you are confident of executing these tasks safely.

If you are using disopyramide you should essentially consult your physician regarding the effects of smoking cigarettes as well as beverages containing caffeine. It has been found that using these substances may possibly augment the irritation caused to the heart and, at the same time, diminish the efficacy of this sodium channel blocker medicament.

Prior to undergoing any type of operation, counting a medical process related to your teeth, you need to inform your physician and also your dentist in advance that you are using disopyramide. In such cases, your physician may ask you to stop taking the medicament for a brief period.

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Usage

A sodium channel blocker, disopyramide is prescribed for patients with specific type of life threatening (probably even fatal) abnormal heartbeat, for instance, a chronic ventricular tachycardia. This medicament is also employed to bring back the regular pace of the heart as well as for maintaining the usual and stable heartbeat. Disopyramide is called an anti-arrhythmic medication and it acts by means of obstructing/ slowing down transmission of specific electrical indicators in your heart, which may result in an abnormal heartbeat. When an irregular heartbeat is treated, it helps to diminish the chances of blood clots, which has the aptitude to lessen the risks of having a stroke or heart attack.

How to use disopyramide

Disopyramide is taken orally either along with food or without it, but precisely as your physician has instructed. In case you are using the immediate-release (regular) capsule form of this medication, generally you are supposed to take the drug four times every day or as prescribed by your physician. On the other hand, if you are using the extended-release or long-acting capsule, it should usually be taken twice daily or as per your physician's instructions.

Always gulp down the extended-release disopyramide capsules as a whole. It is important that you never chew or pound the extended-release disopyramide tablets or capsules, for doing so will release the entire drug immediately, thereby, augmenting the possibilities of having the side effects of using this medicament. At the same time, be careful not to break the long-acting disopyramide tablets provided your pharmacist or physician suggests you to do so and the medication is marked for breaking it. Take the tablet in as a whole or split it avoiding chewing or crushing it.

The dose of disopyramide is dependent on the age and health condition of the patient. In addition, it is also based on his/ her reaction to the therapy as well as the functioning of their liver. In order to obtain the maximum advantage of taking disopyramide, take the medication on a regular basis. In order to assist you in remembering that you have to take disopyramide, you need to take this sodium channel blocker drug at the identical time(s) daily.

Inform your physician if you find that there is no improvement in your condition or the condition deteriorates even after taking disopyramide.

How disopyramide works

Disopyramide works by inhibiting the actions of natural pacemaker of the heart and also impedes electrical impulse from being transmitted via the muscles of the heart. This way, disopyramide helps to stabilize the heartbeat.

Side effects

Serious:
Common:
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
While undergoing therapy with disopyramide it is advisable that you should not use kola, St. John's wort, or ephedra, because using them in conjunction may possibly cause unwanted stimulation to the heart. People suffering from abnormal rhythms of the heart should also avoid using henbane, belladonna, powdered extracts of squill or lily of the valley, extracts of pheasant's eye or scopolia. Using a combination of the sodium channel blocker medicament disopyramide and St. John's wort actually augments the patient's susceptibility to sun light; you should avoid using them in conjunction.
Foods:
When you are being treated with disopyramide, you need to seek your physician's guidance regarding restricting intake of salt as well as his/ her advice on consuming foods having high potassium content.
Alcohol:
Patients using disopyramide should avoid alcoholic beverages, as it has the potential to enhance the medication's ability to lower blood pressure. In addition, alcohol may possibly also augment the drugs' ability to lower the sugar/ glucose levels in the bloodstream.
Tobacco smoking:
When you are taking disopyramide you need to keep away from smoking tobacco, because nicotine may possibly cause irritation to the heart and, at the same time, diminish the efficacy of this medicament.
Exposure to heat:
People using this medicament should be careful not to expose themselves to hot surroundings, as this may augment the chances of having a heatstroke.
Exposure to sun:
Take precautions not to expose yourself to sunlight while using disopyramide, because it may result in photosensitivity. If you need to go outdoors in the sun, ensure that you wear protective garments, sunglasses and use a superior quality sunscreen.
Occurrence of unrelated illness:
If you are planning to take disopyramide or intend to take this drug for your condition, you ought to know that developing ailments that are not related to your condition may cause the medication to act harmfully. For instance, if you are taking this drug and develop dehydration, diarrhea or vomiting, it may cause negative effects. Therefore, contact your physician immediately when you notice the occurrence of any unrelated ailments while taking disopyramide.

Discontinuation

Discontinuing disopyramide abruptly is not advisable, especially when you have used the medication for a prolonged period. As the dosage of this drug needs to be decreased slowly before you stop taking it, you need to seek the guidance and help of your physician in this regard.

Storage instructions

Disopyramide should always be kept in a cool and dry place and protected from directly being exposed to heat as well as light. Ensure that you store all medications away from children's sight and reach.

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