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Flecainide – A Medicine to Treat Irregular Heartbeats

A normally beating heart is a great boon! Ask the patients with atrial fibrillation, and you would know the pains of having abnormal heartbeats. A balance of healthy diet, exercise, and, of course, genes make your heart and other body organs function at the optimum levels.

Cause of abnormal heartbeats :

High blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, and electrolyte imbalances in the blood can cause abnormal heartbeats. A normal heartbeat begins with an electrical impulse from the sinus node. The sinus node is a small area in the heart’s right atrium or upper chamber. PSVT (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia) occurs because of the abnormal electrical pathway that, sends signals on repeat mode. As a result, the heart chambers contract rapidly, which may damage heart functions and cause symptoms such as dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath. So, PSVT is a type of abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. This results in a regular but rapid heartbeat that starts and stops short. Normally, the four chambers of the heart contract (beat) in a predictable, coordinated way, but PSVT is sudden, occasional, rapid heartbeats that start somewhere above the lower heart chambers (ventricles). Certain medicines are given to get the heart back in rhythm and slow down the heart rate. Flecainide is one of the drugs that can slow or block electrical signals in the heart and stabilize the heartbeat.

What is Flecainide?

Flecainide is beneficial in preventing certain types of severe and irregular or abnormal heartbeats. Flecainide is an anti-arrhythmic drug. It works by slowing or blocking electrical signals in the heart to stabilize the heart rhythm. Treating an irregular heartbeat can decrease the risk of blood clots, and this effect can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

What is Flecainide prescribed for?

Flecainide is prescribed for the following conditions · Treatment of types of ventricular and supraventricular tachycardias

· Treatment of life-threatening irregular or abnormal heartbeat

· Treatment of Life-threatening sustained ventricular tachycardia

· To treat atrial fibrillation

· Prevention of stroke

· Wolff-Parkinson-White-syndrome

How to take Flecainide?

The doctor suggests the dose and dosage based on your medical condition, age, and response to medicines. A blood test is done to check the sodium and potassium levels before starting the dose. Flecainide comes in tablet form and needs to be swallowed whole. It can be prescribed twice a day (24 hours) Take it around the same time every day. Setting up an alarm as a reminder to take Flecainide is useful. Do not alter the doses on your own. Take it exactly as directed by your doctor.

Precautions Before taking Flecainide

Whenever you take multiple medicines, there is always a risk of drug interaction. Also, the medicines you take; interact with the food you eat. It is, therefore crucial to discuss your food habits with the doctor before starting the treatment. Before taking Flecainide, inform your doctor about your entire medical history, any allergies you may have, and your known hypersensitivity to drugs. The doctor may do tests to check your kidney and liver functions before starting the treatment.

Inform your doctor

· If you have had any heart blockages or related troubles

· If you have a pacemaker installed

· If you are planning a pregnancy or are pregnant

· If you are breast-feeding

· If you have had any recent surgery

How is Flecainide available?

Flecainide is available in tablet form and the initial dose may begin at 50 milligrams (mg) to be taken once in twelve hours.

Popular brand names for Flecainide

Flecainide is available in the market as a prescription-only medicine. It sold by pharmaceutical companies under the following brand names

· Flecarite (Torrent Pharmaceuticals)

· Tambocor (Meda)

Adverse reactions of Flecainide

Most drugs cause side effects, in the process of giving the required effect. The side effects are mostly mild and tend to get better with time. They usually do not require medical attention.

Common side effects seen with Flecainide are

· Stomach pain

· Constipation

· Weakness

· Headache

· Shaking of a part of your body, which cannot be controlled

· Dizziness

Flecainide may cause some severe reactions, in a few patients. A small percentage of patients may experience these adverse reactions.

Some of the severe side effects could be

· Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

· Double vision

· Abnormal heart rhythm

· Chest pain, Shortness of breath, and Extreme tiredness

· Nausea, Loss of appetite

· Persistent cough with blood-tinged mucus

· Edema (Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs)

· Confusion

· Unusual bleeding or bruising

· Pain in the upper right part of the stomach

· Yellowing of the skin or eyes

· Flu-like symptoms

In case you experience any severe side effects, you must contact your doctor immediately.

Does Flecainide suit you?

The answer lies in the genes you have inherited. Yes, your health is the combination of your lifestyle and your genes. Each person has a unique set of genes. Genes have an impact on most things you do, including the food you eat and the drugs you consume. Knowing your genes is the perfect way to know if a drug is effective for you if you are prone to certain diseases and the possible future ailments you may get. Modern science has given us the gift of genetic testing. Genetic testing is the game changer in the field of medical therapy. It allows you to be proactive about your health. You can now take active measures and prioritize your health! It is now possible and easy to do this wonderful genetic test. Indus Health Plus has MEDNAwise genetic testing which is a powerful tool to gauge your response to varied drugs and to understand your risk of diseases.

MEDNAwise is an easy-to-take saliva test. It can be done from the comfort of your home, and in a few minutes. MEDNAwise is pharmacogenetic testing that can predict your genetic response to 70+ drugs used in various medical specialties, including Flecainide. Certain genes respond to certain drugs better, so the treatment is effective. With the MEDNAwise genetic test, the doctor would know the exact treatment effective for you. The uncertainty of future medical risks is lessened. With quick reports in time and personalized genetic counselling sessions, it is easy to come up with a unique comprehensive plan to be on the road to good health. So, do not wait any longer, get the MEDNwise genetic test done today and lead a peaceful and healthy life.

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