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Pronounced: TAM-ba-kore
Generic name: Flecainide acetate

Why is this drug prescribed: Tambocor is prescribed to treat certain heart rhythm disturbances, including paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (a sudden attack or worsening of irregular heartbeat in which the upper chamber of the heart beats irregularly and very rapidly) and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (a sudden attack or worsening of an abnormally fast but regular heart rate that occurs in intermittent episodes).

Most important fact about this drug: Tambocor may sometimes cause or worsen heartbeat irregularities and certain heart conditions, such as heart failure (the inability of the heart to sustain its workload of pumping blood). Before prescribing Tambocor, your doctor will weigh the drug's risks and benefits. Your condition will be monitored throughout your treatment.

How should you take this medication: In almost every case, your doctor will initiate Tambocor therapy in the hospital. Take Tambocor exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Serious heartbeat disturbances may result if you do not follow your doctor's instructions, if you miss any regular doses, or if you increase or decrease the dosage without consulting your doctor. Your doctor may order regular blood tests to monitor your therapy. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember if it is within 6 hours of your scheduled time. If you do not remember until later, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from light.

What side effects may occur: Tambocor has a wide variety of possible effects on the heart, including new or worsened heartbeat abnormalities, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and heart block--an interference with the heart's contraction. If any develop, inform your doctor immediately. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking Tambocor. Other side effects may include: Abdominal pain, angina pectoris (crushing chest pain), anxiety, apathy, appetite loss, chest pain, confusion, constipation, convulsions, decreased sex drive, depression, diarrhea, difficult or labored breathing, dizziness (light-headedness, faintness, near fainting, unsteadiness), dry mouth, edema (accumulation of fluid in the tissues), exaggerated feeling of well-being, excessive urine, eye pain or irritation, fainting, fatigue, fever, flushing, gas, hair loss, headache, heart palpitations (fluttery heartbeat), high or low blood pressure, hives, impotence, inability to urinate, indigestion, insomnia, intolerance of light, involuntary eye movements, itching, joint pain, lack of coordination, loss of sense of identity, lung inflammation or other conditions, malaise (feeling unwell or ill), memory loss, morbid dreams, muscle pain, nausea, numbness or tingling, paralysis, rash, reduced sensitivity to touch, ringing in the ears, skin inflammation and peeling, sleepiness, speech problems, stupor, sweating, swollen lips, tongue, and mouth, taste changes, tremor, twitching, vertigo, vision problems (blurred vision, difficulty in focusing, double vision, spots before the eyes), vomiting, weakness, wheezing

Why should this drug not be prescribed: Your doctor should not prescribe Tambocor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it or you are sensitive to it, if you have heart block (without a pacemaker), or if your heart cannot supply enough blood to the body.

Special warnings about this medication: If you have a pacemaker, you should be monitored very closely while taking Tambocor--your pacemaker may need to be adjusted. If you have liver disease, Tambocor could build up in your system. Your doctor will prescribe the drug only if the benefits outweigh the risks. In addition, you should have frequent blood tests to make sure your dosage is not too high. If you have a history of congestive heart failure or a weak heart, you may be at increased risk for dangerous cardiac side effects from Tambocor. If you have very alkaline urine, perhaps caused by a kidney condition or by a strict vegetarian diet, your body will tend to process and eliminate Tambocor rather slowly and you may need a lower-than-average dosage. If the potassium levels in your blood are too high or too low, your doctor will want to correct the condition before allowing you to take Tambocor. If you have kidney failure, your doctor will want to watch you closely.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Tambocor is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Tambocor with the following: Amiodarone (Cordarone) Beta blockers (blood pressure drugs such as Inderal, Tenormin, and Sectral) Carbamazepine (Tegretol) Cimetidine (Tagamet) Diltiazem (Cardizem) Disopyramide (Norpace) Nifedipine (Procardia) Phenobarbital Phenytoin (Dilantin) Quinidine (Quinidex) Verapamil (Calan, Isoptin)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Tambocor during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Tambocor should be used during pregnancy only if the benefit justifies the potential risk to the unborn child. Tambocor appears in breast milk. Check with your doctor before breastfeeding your baby.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Treatment with Tambocor almost always begins in the hospital. The usual starting dose is 50 to 100 milligrams every 12 hours, depending on the condition under treatment. Every 4 days, your doctor may increase your dose by 50 milligrams every 12 hours until your condition is under control. CHILDREN: Children's dosage is based on body surface area and is always supervised by a cardiac physician.

Overdosage: An overdose of Tambocor is likely to cause slowed or rapid heartbeat, other cardiac problems, fainting, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, and heart failure. Taken even in moderate excess, Tambocor may have serious consequences and can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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