Norpace may be prescribed to people who have an irregular heart rhythm that may lead to life-threatening complications. It works to treat ventricular arrhythmias by preventing the heart muscle from responding to premature electrical signals. This drug comes as a capsule that is taken every six hours. Side effects are possible and may include constipation, dry mouth, and difficulty urinating.
What Is Norpace?
Norpace® (disopyramide) is a prescription medication used to treat life-threatening irregular heartbeats that begin in the lower chambers of the heart, known medically as ventricular arrhythmias. It belongs to a group of medicines called antiarrhythmics.
Norpace is also available in an extended-release version (Norpace CR).
Norpace is made by G.D. Searle, LLC, a division of Pfizer Inc.
How Does Norpace Work?
Norpace 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.
Norpace also prolongs the heart's refractory period, which is the period of time heart cells will not respond to a new electrical signal. By extending the refractory period, Norpace helps the heart tissue resist any electrical signal that is trying to come through prematurely.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Norpace [package insert]. New York, NY: G.D. Searle, LLC;2006 September.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 8, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 8 2012.
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