Generic Name: disopyramide, Oral capsule

Generic Name:

disopyramide, Oral capsule

Norpace

All Brands

  • Norpace
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for disopyramide

Oral capsule
1

Disopyramide is used to treat ventricular arrhythmia, a life-threatening irregular heartbeat. It works by blocking electrical signals in your heart that cause the irregular heartbeat.

2

Common side effects include dry mouth or eyes, constipation, blurry vision, stomach pain, and nausea.

3

This medication can also lead to allergic reactions, heart failure, decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate or irregular heart rate, and low blood sugar.

4

How often you take your dose depends on the form you’re taking. The immediate-release capsule is usually taken every 6 hours. The extended-release capsule is usually taken every 12 hours.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Risk of heart attack and death. Medications similar to disopyramide have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack and death in people who have had a recent heart attack.

Disopyramide may cause irregular heart rate. For people who don’t have a life-threatening arrhythmia, this drug might actually increase the risk of death. Disopyramide should only be used if you have life-threatening irregular heartbeats.

Heart problem risk

This medication may cause decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, or irregular heart rate.

Risk of allergic reaction

This medication may cause a severe allergic reaction.

Low blood sugar risk

This medication may cause low blood sugar.

Drug Features

Disopyramide is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral capsule, oral extended-release capsule.

Disopyramide is available in its generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why It's Used

Disopyramide is used to treat ventricular arrhythmia, a condition that causes life-threatening irregular heart rate.

How It Works

Disopyramide belongs to a class of drugs called antiarrhythmics.

More Details

How It Works

Disopyramide belongs to a class of drugs called antiarrhythmics. It works by blocking abnormal electrical signals in your heart that can cause irregular heart rate. The medication helps your heart to beat at a normal pace and rhythm.

SECTION 2 of 5

disopyramide Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with disopyramide include:

  • dry mouth or eyes

  • difficulty urinating

  • needing to urinate more frequently

  • the inability to empty your bladder completely

  • constipation

  • blurry vision

  • nausea

  • stomach pain, bloating, or gas

  • dizziness

  • tiredness

  • headache

  • muscle weakness and aches

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • hives
    • itching
    • red, swollen skin
    • chest tightness
    • trouble breathing
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • heart failure. Symptoms may include:

    • shortness of breath
    • swelling of your arms and legs
    • tiredness
    • fatigue
    • fast or irregular heart rate
    • sudden weight gain
  • low blood pressure. Symptoms may include:

    • dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
    • tiredness
    • clammy skin
    • nausea
  • low blood sugar. Symptoms may include:

    • shakiness
    • nervousness
    • fast heart rate
    • confusion
    • sweating and clammy skin
    • lack of coordination
    • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Disopyramide doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

disopyramide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Disopyramide can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol Interaction

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking disopyramide. Using alcohol while taking this drug may cause a potentially dangerous sedative effect. It may slow your reflexes and cause poor judgment and sleepiness.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Antibiotics

These medications may affect your heart rhythm. They may interact with disopyramide and increase your risk of life-threatening irregular heart rate.

  • azithromycin
  • clarithromycin
  • erythromycin
  • telithromycin
  • gatifloxacin
  • levofloxacin
  • moxifloxacin
  • ofloxacin

This medication may decrease the amount of disopyramide in your body, which could make it less effective:

  • rifampin

Heart rhythm drugs

These medications may affect your heart rhythm. They may interact with disopyramide and increase your risk of life-threatening irregular heart rate.

  • dronedarone
  • amiodarone
  • lidocaine
  • flecainide
  • propafenone
  • quinidine
  • sotalol

Mental health drugs

These medications may affect your heart rhythm. They may interact with disopyramide and increase your risk of life-threatening irregular heart rate.

  • thioridazine
  • ziprasidone
  • quetiapine
  • aripiprazole
  • risperidone
  • olanzapine
  • venlafaxine
  • fluoxetine
  • citalopram
  • escitalopram

Antifungal drugs

These medications may affect your heart rhythm. They may interact with disopyramide and increase your risk of life-threatening irregular heart rate.

  • terbinafine
  • ketoconazole
  • fluconazole
  • itraconazole

Erectile dysfunction drug

This medication may affect your heart rhythm. It may interact with disopyramide and increase your risk of life-threatening irregular heart rate.

  • vardenafil

High blood pressure and heart drugs

These drugs may interact with disopyramide and slow down your heart rate too much.

  • acebutolol
  • atenolol
  • betaxolol
  • carvedilol
  • esmolol
  • labetalol
  • metoprolol
  • nadolol
  • pindolol
  • verapamil
  • diltiazem

Glaucoma drugs

These drugs may interact with disopyramide and slow down your heart rate too much.

  • betaxolol
  • timolol

Seizure drugs

These medications may decrease the level of disopyramide in your body. This may cause disopyramide not to work as well.

  • ethotoin
  • fosphenytoin
  • phenytoin

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with bladder problems

Don’t use this medication if you can’t empty your bladder completely. This medication could make it worse.

People with glaucoma

Don’t use this medication if you have glaucoma. This medication may make your glaucoma worse.

People with enlarged prostate

This is called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). If you have this condition and take this medication, you may experience urinary problems, such as urinary retention.

People with myasthenia gravis

This is a disease that occurs when your immune system attacks the connection between your muscles and nerves. This medication may worsen this condition.

People with heart problems

This medication may make heart conditions worse. Examples include:

  • cardiogenic shock
  • second or third degree heart block
  • sick sinus syndrome
  • congenital (born with) QT syndrome

People with low blood pressure

Be careful taking this drug if you have low blood pressure. Disopyramide can make it worse.

People with heart failure

Disopyramide may slow your heartbeat and make heart failure worse.

People with low potassium

Disopyramide may not work properly if you have low potassium levels.

People with heart conduction problems

These include Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome, bundle branch block, or heart block. This drug may slow your heartbeat and potentially worsen these conditions.

People with heart muscle abnormality

This is called cardiomyopathy. Some people with this condition experience very low blood pressure after taking this drug.

Pregnant women

Disopyramide is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Disopyramide should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

Disopyramide may pass through breast milk and may cause side effects in a breastfeeding child.

Tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You may need to decide whether to breastfeed or take disopyramide.

For Seniors

The effectiveness and safety of disopyramide haven’t been established in people older than 65 years old. This drug may increase the risk of heart failure in older people. It may also increase the risk of certain side effects, such as dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, and difficulty urinating.

For Children

The effectiveness and safety of disopyramide haven’t been established in children younger than 18 years old.

Allergies

Disopyramide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take disopyramide (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Ventricular arrhythmia
Form: Oral capsule
Strength: 100 mg and 150 mg
Form: Oral extended-release capsule
Strength: 100 mg and 150 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

For adults who weigh 110 pounds (50 kg) or more:

  • The usual dose range is 400–800 mg per day given in divided doses.
  • immediate-release capsules: You may receive a one-time first dose of 300 mg if your doctor wants a quick response.
  • The maintenance dose is usually 150 mg taken every 6 hours.
  • extended-release capsules: The maintenance dose is usually 300 mg taken every 12 hours.

For adults who weigh less than 110 pounds (50 kg):

  • immediate-release capsules: You may receive a one-time first dose of 200 mg if your doctor wants a quick response.
  • The maintenance dose is usually 100 mg taken every 6 hours.
  • extended-release capsules: The maintenance dose is usually 200 mg taken every 12 hours.
Child Dosage (ages 0–17 years)
  • Children will only use immediate-release capsules.
  • A safe and effective dosage hasn’t been established. However, dosing in children is based on doctors’ experience using disopyramide. Possible doses include:
    • younger than 1 year old: 10–30 mg per kilogram of bodyweight every 24 hours given in 4 divided doses
    • 1 to 3 years old: 10–20 mg/kg every 24 hours given in 4 divided doses
    • 4 to 12 years old: 10–15 mg/kg every 24 hours given in 4 divided doses
    • 13 to 17 years old: 6–15 mg/kg every 24 hours given in 4 divided doses
Special Considerations

Liver Disease: If you have liver disease, your liver may not be able to remove this drug from your body well. Your doctor may reduce your dose.

  • immediate-release capsules: 100 mg taken every 6 hours
  • extended-release capsules: 200 mg taken every 12 hours

Kidney Disease: Your dose may be reduced. The dose is based on kidney function (creatinine clearance, CrCl):

  • CrCl greater than 40 mL/minute
    • immediate-release capsules: 100 mg taken every 6 hours
    • extended-release capsules: 200 mg taken every 12 hours
  • CrCl 30–40 mL/minute
    • immediate-release capsules: 100 mg taken every 8 hours
    • extended-release capsules: not recommended
  • CrCl 15–30 mL/minute
    • immediate-release capsules: 100 mg taken every 12 hours
    • extended-release capsules: not recommended
  • CrCl less than 15 mL/minute
    • immediate-release capsules: 100 mg taken every 24 hours
    • extended-release capsules: not recommended

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Disopyramide comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If You Don't Take It At All

You may continue to experience life-threatening irregular heart rate.

If You Stop Taking It Suddenly

If you suddenly stop taking disopyramide, you may experience life-threatening irregular heart rate.

If You Take Too Much

You may experience:

  • temporarily stopped breathing
  • unconsciousness
  • worse congestive heart failure
  • low blood pressure
  • very slow heart rate
  • stopped heart
  • irregular heart rate

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. However, if it’s just a few hours until your next dose, wait and take a single dose.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

If the drug is working, you may experience fewer symptoms of irregular heart rate. You may experience less:

  • rapid or irregular heartbeats
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • chest pain
  • fainting

Disopyramide is a long-term drug treatment.

Important Considerations for Taking Disopyramide
should take with food icon You can take this drug with or without food
don not crush icon Don’t open or crush the extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole See Details
storage icon Store at 77°F (25°C) See Details
refillable icon Prescription is refillable
travel icon Travel See Details
Clinical Monitoring icon Clinical Monitoring See Details
not usually stocked icon Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead

Don’t open or crush the extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole

You can open the immediate-release capsule and sprinkle the contents on food.

Store at 77°F (25°C)

You can store the medication in temperatures from 59–86ºF (15–30°C) for short periods of time. Don’t freeze it.

Keep it away from light and high temperature.

Note: Keep this medication away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store it away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled box with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

Your doctor will monitor your:

  • heart rate. Disopyramide may cause new irregular heart rate. Your doctor may order a test that checks for problems with your heart’s electrical activity. This test will also see if disopyramide is working to control your irregular heartbeat.
  • blood pressure
  • blood sugar. Rarely, disopyramide may lower your blood sugar levels. Your doctor may check your blood sugar levels to make sure they’re normal.
  • kidney function. Your doctor may take a blood test to see how your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your dose may need to be decreased.
  • liver function. Your doctor may take a blood test to see how your liver is working. If it isn’t working well, your dose may need to be decreased.
  • potassium level

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does disopyramide Cost?

Oral capsule
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

Compare prices and save money on your next refill!

Lowest price for disopyramide

Kroger Pharmacy $60.53
Walgreens $78.66
CVS Pharmacy $99.45
These represent the lowest cash prices for disopyramide and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of disopyramide near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for disopyramide and may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on June 15, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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