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Tocainide may cause bone marrow suppression which will prevent your body from making blood cells; be sure to keep all appointments with your doctor so that your blood counts can be monitored. Report any signs of infection (fever, chills, or sore throat), bruising, or bleeding to your doctor immediately.Tocainide may cause pulmonary fibrosis (lung damage) in some people. Report any lung symptoms to your doctor immediately: shortness of breath (with or without exercise), cough, fever, or wheezing.Studies have shown that some antiarrhythmic drugs may increase the risk of death, especially if you have had a previous heart attack. This information also may apply to tocainide. Tocainide usually is used only to treat life-threatening arrhythmias.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Tocainide is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. It works by making your heart more resistant to abnormal activity.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Tocainide comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take tocainide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Tocainide helps control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take tocainide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking tocainide without talking to your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking tocainide,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tocainide, anesthetics, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially cimetidine (Tagamet), medications for high blood pressure or heart disease, rifampin (Rifadin), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease or high blood pressure.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking tocainide, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking tocainide.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • talk to your doctor about the use of cigarettes and caffeine-containing beverages. These products may increase the irritability of your heart and interfere with the action of tocainide.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Take tocainide with or immediately following a meal.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

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.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from tocainide are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • tingling or numbness of the hands or feet
  • tremor
  • confusion
  • headache
  • sweating

If you experience any of the following symptoms, or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • signs of infection (fever, chills, or sore throat)
  • bruising or bleeding
  • rash
  • cough
  • wheezing

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 emergency/overdose

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.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will need to determine your response to tocainide.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT