People who have a potentially life-threatening irregular heart rhythm called ventricular arrhythmia may receive a medication called Mexitil. This prescription drug is only available in generic form and comes as capsules that are taken every 8 or 12 hours. You will take your first doses in a hospital so you can be carefully monitored. Side effects include lightheadedness, shakiness, and gastrointestinal problems.
What Is Mexitil?Mexitil® (mexiletine) is a prescription medication approved to treat certain types of irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). This drug is specifically designed to treat life-threatening irregular heartbeats known as ventricular arrhythmias. It belongs to a class of medications called antiarrhythmics.
Who Makes This Medication?Brand-name Mexitil was originally made by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. However, Boehringer Ingelheim stopped making the medication. Currently, it is only available in generic form.
How Does Mexitil Work?Mexitil belongs to a group of drugs known as Class IB antiarrhythmics. Like other Class IB antiarrhythmia medications, Mexitil works by blocking sodium channels in the heart. This slows down the speed at which electrical impulses move through the heart, which helps stabilize the heart rhythm.
When and How to Take ItSome general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Mexitil include the following:
- This medication comes in capsule form. It is usually taken by mouth every 8 hours, although some people may only need to take it every 12 hours.
- You will begin taking Mexitil in a hospital setting, where you can be closely monitored.
- Mexitil should be taken with food or an antacid to help minimize the risk of stomach irritation.
- Try to take your doses at about the same times each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
- For Mexitil to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking it, even if you feel well, as your irregular heartbeat may return.