In a study of people who had experienced heart attacks within the past 2 years, people who took flecainide were more likely to have another heart attack or to die than people who did not take flecainide. There is not enough information to tell whether taking flecainide also increases the risk of heart attack or death in people who have not had heart attacks within the past 2 years. Because of this serious risk and because flecainide has not been shown to help people with irregular heartbeats to live longer, flecainide should be used only to treat people with life-threatening irregular heartbeats.
Tell you doctor if you have atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter (conditions in which the upper chambers of the heart do not beat effectively). People with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter who take flecainide may have a higher risk of developing certain types of irregular heartbeats.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking flecainide.
Flecainide is used to prevent certain types of life-threatening irregular heartbeats. Flecainide is in a class of medications called antiarrhythmics. It works by slowing electrical signals in the heart to stabilize the heart rhythm.
Flecainide comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once every 12 hours. Some people may take flecainide once every 8 hours if they experience side effects or if their condition cannot be controlled by taking flecainide every 12 hours. Take flecainide at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take flecainide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You may be hospitalized when you begin your treatment with flecainide. Your doctor will monitor you carefully during this time and for as long as you continue to take flecainide. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of flecainide and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 4 days. Your doctor may also decrease your dose once your condition is controlled.
Flecainide may control your condition, but will not cure it. Continue to take flecainide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking flecainide without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking flecainide, your condition may become worse.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
changes in vision
uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
shortness of breath
loss of appetite
persistent cough with blood-tinged mucus
swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
unusual bleeding or bruising
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
yellowing of the skin or eyes
Flecainide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat
loss of consciousness
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to flecainide.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.