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Encainide


Encainide capsules

What are encainide capsules?

ENCAINIDE (EnkaidĀ®) is an antiarrhythmic agent. Encainide treats irregular heart rhythm and can slow rapid heartbeats (tachycardia). Encainide can help your heart to return to and maintain a normal rhythm. Generic encainide capsules are not available. It is no longer manufactured for general use but is available to patients who were taking and were stabilized on the medication before its removal from the market in 1991.

What should my health care professional know before I take encainide?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • abnormal levels of potassium in the blood

  • diabetes

  • heart disease or problems other than rhythm and heart rate problems

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • previous heart attack

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to encainide, local anesthetics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take encainide capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the capsules with a drink of water. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take the missed dose if it is more than 4 hours after the dose was due. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with encainide?

  • beta-blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart problems

  • cimetidine

  • medicines for angina or high blood pressure

  • medicines to control heart rhythm

  • sevelamer

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking encainide?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Do not stop taking encainide suddenly; this may cause serious, heart-related side effects. Because your condition and the use of encainide carry some risk, it is a good idea to carry an identification card, necklace or bracelet with details of your condition, medications and prescriber or health care professional.

Check your heart rate (pulse) and blood pressure regularly while you are taking encainide. Ask your prescriber or health care professional what your heart rate and blood pressure should be, and when you should contact him or her. Your prescriber or health care professional also may schedule regular blood tests and electrocardiograms to check your progress.

You may feel dizzy or faint. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how encainide affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you more dizzy, increase flushing and rapid heartbeats. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking encainide.

What side effects may I notice from taking encainide?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • changes in vision

  • chest pain, continued irregular heartbeats

  • difficulty breathing

  • ringing in the ears

  • swelling of the legs or feet

  • trembling, shaking

  • unusual weakness or tiredness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • difficulty sleeping

  • dizziness

  • headache

  • nausea, vomiting

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.