Treats irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). Belongs to the group of drugs called antiarrhythmics.
Pronestyl, Procanbid, Pronestyl-SR
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to procainamide in the past. This drug should not be used with some heart disorders, lupus, and myasthenia gravis (a muscle disease).
How to Use This Medicine
Tablet, Capsule, Long Acting Tablet
- Use this medicine exactly as your doctor ordered, even if you feel fine.
- It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Your doctor may tell you to take this medicine with food or milk to avoid stomach upset.
- Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not break, chew, or crush.
- You may see part of the extended-release tablet in your bowel movement. This is the leftover tablet after your body has absorbed the medicine. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.
- You may need to carry identification saying that you are using procainamide. Ask your doctor about this.
If a dose is missed:
- Use the missed dose as soon as you can, unless you are more than 2 hours late (4 hours if you use extended-release tablets).
- If you are more than 2 hours late (4 hours for the extended-release tablet), skip the missed dose and use the medicine at your usual time.
- You should not use two doses at the same time.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using any of these medicines: other heart medicines such as Quinidex®, Cordarone®, or Inderal®, medicines for high blood pressure, or pimozide (Orap®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Check with your doctor before using if you have kidney or liver disease, or asthma.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you are using procainamide before having any kind of surgery.
- Do not stop using this medicine without talking to your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Procainamide makes some people dizzy or drowsy, be careful if you drive a car or operate machinery.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Skin rash, severe itching or hives
- Fever, chills, or sore throat, mouth, or gums
- Joint pain or swelling
- Extreme tiredness or weakness
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea or loss of appetite
- Bitter taste in your mouth