What Is Disopyramide Used For?

How Does It Work?

Disopyramide belongs to a group of medications known as Class I antiarrhythmics; specifically, it is a Class IA antiarrhythmic. Class I antiarrhythmic medications block sodium channels in the heart. This slows down the speed at which electrical impulses move through the heart, which helps stabilize the heart rhythm.
Disopyramide also extends the period of time that heart cells will not respond to a new electrical signal. This helps the heart tissue resist an electrical signal that is trying to come through too soon.
The medication comes in an immediate-release (Norpace) and a controlled-release (Norpace CR) form. Controlled-release disopyramide is specially designed to slowly release the medication into the body, so it can be taken fewer times a day.

Can Children Use Disopyramide?

Disopyramide is not approved for use in children, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group (usually defined as individuals younger than 18 years old). However, this does not mean the medication cannot be prescribed for a child. In fact, there are well-established dosing guidelines for the use of disopyramide in children. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of giving this medicine to your child.
It is important to note that controlled-release disopyramide capsules cannot be made into a liquid form. Therefore, they should not be used in children who cannot swallow the capsules whole. Immediate-release disopyramide can be made into a liquid form that may be easier for children to swallow. Talk to your pharmacist about a liquid option if your child has difficulty swallowing capsules.

Is It Safe for Older Adults?

There were not enough people over the age of 65 in clinical trials to determine whether older adults respond any differently to this medicine than younger age groups. However, older adults may be especially sensitive to many of the side effects of disopyramide, including constipation, dizziness, and problems with urination, and may therefore require more careful monitoring and lower doses.
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Disopyramide Drug Information

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