Precautions and Warnings With Propafenone SR

Specific Propafenone SR Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
  • In clinical studies, people who took antiarrhythmia medications similar to propafenone SR after having a heart attack had a higher risk of death and the potential for their heart to stop than people who did not take the antiarrhythmia medication. It is unknown whether propafenone SR is associated with the same risk. However, it is important to let your healthcare provider know if you have had a heart attack in the past two years.
  • Propafenone SR can cause or worsen heart rhythm problems, including potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. Your healthcare provider will check for these problems using an electrocardiogram (ECG) before and periodically during treatment.
  • This medication may cause or worsen heart failure. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop signs of heart failure, or if you have heart failure and your symptoms get worse. Some of the possible symptoms include:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Increased tiredness
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet.
  • If you have a pacemaker, it will need to be monitored and possibly reprogrammed during and after propafenone SR treatment.
  • This medication may decrease the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing your risk for infections. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience signs of an infection, such as:
  • Propafenone SR should be used cautiously in people with liver or kidney disease. These people may need to be monitored more closely and may require lower doses.
  • This medication may cause a positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) test result. An ANA test is used to screen for autoimmune disorders. Most people on propafenone SR who developed an abnormal ANA test during treatment did not have symptoms of autoimmune disease. However, there is one report of propafenone (the active ingredient in propafenone SR) causing lupus, which resolved when the medicine was stopped.
  • Men who take this medication may experience a decrease in sperm count. This is reversible, and sperm count should return to normal once treatment is stopped.
  • Propafenone SR has been reported to cause a worsening of myasthenia gravis symptoms in people who have this condition. Myasthenia gravis is a disorder that causes weakness of the muscles. If you have myasthenia gravis, let your healthcare provider know if your symptoms get worse during propafenone SR treatment.
  • Propafenone SR is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy (see Rythmol SR and Pregnancy).
  • Propafenone SR passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Rythmol SR and Breastfeeding).
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