|Type of medicine||Anti-arrhythmic|
|Used for||Irregular heartbeats|
|Also called||Rythmodan®, Rythmodan Retard®|
|Available as||Capsules, modified-release tablets and injection|
Disopyramide is used to treat arrhythmias within the heart. An arrhythmia is an irregularity in the heartbeat which causes the heart to skip a beat, beat irregularly, beat very fast or very slow.
Disopyramide works by correcting irregular heartbeats to a normal rhythm and by slowing an overactive heart, especially after a heart attack.
Before taking disopyramide
Before taking disopyramide make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have kidney or liver problems.
- If you have heart problems other than unusual heartbeats.
- If you have glaucoma (raised pressure in the eyes).
- If you have difficulty passing urine or know you have an enlarged prostate gland.
- If you have low blood pressure.
- If you have myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakening disease).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take disopyramide
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Always take disopyramide exactly as directed by your doctor. Swallow the capsules with a drink of water.
- If you have been given the modified-release tablets, swallow these whole; do not chew the tablets.
- Try to take disopyramide at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you do forget to take a dose, take one as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose in which case skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular doctor's appointment so your progress can be checked.
- If you have diabetes it is important to check your blood sugar levels regularly as disopyramide can cause low blood sugar. Signs of low blood sugar include: excessive hunger, cold sweats, sickness, shakiness. If you think that this may be a problem, eat or drink a food containing sugar and contact your doctor.
- If you are having any treatment like an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
- Do not stop taking this medicine without speaking to your doctor first.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Can disopyramide cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome:
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling faint, light-headed or dizzy especially when standing up||Getting up or moving more slowly may help. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down for a few minutes so that you do not faint, then sit for a few moments before standing|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sweets|
|Blurred or double vision||Make sure your vision is normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which would be dangerous if you are not able to see clearly|
|Feeling sick, loss of appetite||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods|
|Difficulty passing urine||Let your doctor know if this becomes a problem|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store disopyramide
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Rythmodan® 100 mg Capsules; Manufacturer's PIL, Rythmodan® 100 mg Capsules, sanofi-aventis, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2008, accessed March 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Rythmodan Retard®; Manufacturer's PIL, Rythmodan Retard®, sanofi-aventis, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2009, accessed March 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 21/10/2010||Document ID: 3264 Version: 22||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.