Propafenone Hcl Tablets

  • CHF and arrhythmias

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Generic Name & Formulations

General Description

Propafenone HCl 150mg, 225mg; scored tabs.

Pharmacological Class

Class IC antiarrhythmic.

See Also

How Supplied

Tabs—Contact supplier; SR caps—60

How Supplied

Contact supplier.


Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F).



Generic Availability


Propafenone Hcl Tablets Indications


Documented life-threatening sustained ventricular arrhythmias. To prolong the time to recurrence of disabling paroxysmal atrial fibrillation/flutter or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia in patients without structural heart disease.


Usage Considerations

  • Use of propafenone in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation or in patients exclusively with atrial flutter or PSVT has not been evaluated.
  • Do not use propafenone to control ventricular rate during atrial fibrillation.
  • In patients with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter, use propafenone with drugs that increase the atrioventricular nodal refractory period.
  • The effect of propafenone on mortality has not been determined.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Dosage and Administration


Individualize. Initially 150mg every 8hrs. May increase at intervals of at least 3–4 days (longer for elderly or marked myocardial damage) to 225mg every 8hrs; max 300mg every 8hrs. QRS widening, 2nd or 3rd degree AV block, or hepatic impairment: reduce dose.


Not established.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Contraindications


Heart failure. Cardiogenic shock. SA, AV and intraventricular disorders of impulse generation or conduction (eg, sick sinus syndrome, AV block), unless paced. Known Brugada Syndrome. Bradycardia. Marked hypotension. Bronchospastic disorders. Severe obstructive pulmonary disease. Marked electrolyte imbalance.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Boxed Warnings

Boxed Warning


Boxed Warning

Mortality Risk

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST)

  • Long-term, multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial included patients with asymptomatic non-life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias who had a myocardial infarction more than 6 days but less than 2 years previously.
  • Increased rate of death or reversed cardiac arrest was observed in patients treated with encainide or flecainide compared with placebo.
  • Average duration of treatment with encainide or flecainide was 10 months.
  • Based on findings, it is prudent to consider any Class IC antiarrhythmic to have significant proarrhythmic risk in patients with structural heart disease.
  • Antiarrhythmic agents should generally be avoided in patients with non-life-threatening arrhythmias, even if the patient is experiencing unpleasant, but not life-threatening, signs/symptoms.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Warnings/Precautions


Significant proarrhythmic risk in structural heart disease. Avoid in patients with non-life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Monitor ECG, pacemakers before and during therapy. May provoke overt heart failure. Discontinue if ECG changes are suggestive of Brugada Syndrome. Monitor for agranulocytosis. Hepatic or renal dysfunction: monitor. Elderly. Labor & delivery, fetal/neonatal: monitor. Pregnancy. Nursing mothers.


Proarrhythmic Effects

  • Propafenone has caused new or worsened arrhythmias.
  • It may also worsen premature ventricular contractions or supraventricular arrhythmias, and it may prolong the QT interval.
  • Patients should be evaluated electrocardiographically prior to and during therapy to determine whether response supports continued treatment.
  • Propafenone prolongs the QRS interval in the electrocardiogram; changes in the QT interval may be difficult to interpret.

Unmasking Brugada Syndrome

  • Perform ECG after initiating treatment with propafenone.
  • Discontinue if changes are suggestive of Brugada syndrome.

History of Heart Failure

  • Propafenone exerts a negative inotropic activity on the myocardium as well as beta blockade effects.
  • Proarrhythmic effects more likely when administered to patients with heart failure (NYHA III and IV) or severe myocardial ischemia.

Conduction Disturbances

  • Propafenone slows atrioventricular conduction and may also cause dose-related first-degree AV block.
  • Do not give to patients with atrioventricular and intraventricular conduction defects in the absence of a pacemaker.

Effects on Pacemaker Threshold

  • Propafenone may alter both pacing and sensing thresholds of implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.
  • Monitor and reprogram these devices accordingly during and after treatment.


  • Generally occurs within the first 2 months of propafenone therapy.
  • White cell counts usually normalize 14 days after discontinuation of therapy.

Elevated ANA Titers

  • Positive ANA titers have been reported in patients receiving propafenone.
  • Usually not associated with clinical symptoms.
  • Evaluate patients who develop an abnormal ANA test.
  • Consider discontinuing therapy if persistent or worsening elevation of ANA titers is detected.

Pregnancy Considerations

No drug-associated risks of miscarriage, birth defects, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes have been identified based on available data.

Propafenone and its metabolite have been shown to cross the placenta. Fetal/neonatal monitoring for signs of arrhythmia recommended during and after treatment with propafenone.

Monitor patients treated with propafenone continuously for arrhythmias during labor and delivery.

Nursing Mother Considerations

Propafenone and its active metabolite are present in human milk; levels are likely low.

There are no data on the effects of propafenone on the breastfed infant or the effects on milk production.

Consider the benefits to the mother vs the potential risks to the breastfed infant.

Pediatric Considerations

The safety and effectiveness of propafenone in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Considerations

No overall differences observed between patients 65 years of age and older and younger patients.

Dose should be increased more gradually during the initial phase of treatment taking into account the effect of age on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of propafenone.

Renal Impairment Considerations

Approximately 50% of propafenone metabolites are excreted in the urine. Monitor for signs of overdosage in patients with impaired renal function.

Hepatic Impairment Considerations

Severe liver dysfunction increases the bioavailability of propafenone to approximately 70%. The clearance of propafenone is reduced and the elimination half-life increased. Carefully monitor patients with impaired hepatic function for excessive effects.

Other Considerations for Specific Populations

Exacerbation of myasthenia gravis has been reported during propafenone therapy.

Propafenone may transiently impair spermatogenesis in males.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Pharmacokinetics


Propafenone hydrochloride is nearly completely absorbed after oral administration with peak plasma levels occurring approximately 3.5 hours after administration in most individuals.


Propafenone is greater than 95% protein bound.


Hepatic (CYP2D6, CYP3A4, CYP1A2).

In over 90% of patients, propafenone is rapidly and extensively metabolized with an elimination half-life from 2 to 10 hours. 

In <10% of patients, metabolism of propafenone is slower because the 5-hydroxymetabolite is not formed or is minimally formed; the estimated propafenone elimination half-life ranges from 10 to 32 hours.


Extensive metabolizers: Elimination half-life from 2 to 10 hours. 

Slow metabolizers: Elimination half-life from 10 to 32 hours.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Interactions


Avoid drugs that may prolong the QT interval (eg, antiarrhythmics, some phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressants, oral macrolides). Avoid concomitant Class IA and III antiarrhythmics (including quinidine, amiodarone). Potentiates β-blockers, warfarin, digoxin (consider reducing their doses when starting propafenone). Potentiated by CYP2D6 inhibitors (eg, desipramine, paroxetine, ritonavir, sertraline) and CYP3A4 inhibitors (eg, ketoconazole, saquinavir, erythromycin, grapefruit juice); avoid simultaneous use with both. Antagonized by rifampin. May be antagonized by orlistat. Local anesthetics may increase CNS effects.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Adverse Reactions

Adverse Reactions

Unusual taste, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, constipation, headache, fatigue, 1st degree AV block, intraventricular conduction delay, palpitations, chest pain, dyspnea, anxiety, upper respiratory tract infection, edema, influenza, angina pectoris, atrial flutter, heart failure, bradycardia, blurred vision; new or worsened arrhythmias, conduction disturbances, elevated ANA titers, exacerbation of myasthenia gravis.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

Propafenone reduced the rate of both paroxysmal atrial fibrillation/flutter (PAF) and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) in 2 randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials of 60 to 90 days duration. The patient population was 50% male with a mean age of 57.3 years. 

Trial 1


  • Propafenone (n=30) vs placebo (n=30)
  • Percent attack free: 53% vs 13%
  • Median time to first recurrence: >98 days vs 8 days


  • Propafenone (n=45) vs placebo (n=45)
  • Percent attack free: 47% vs 16%
  • Median time to first recurrence: >98 days vs 12 days

Trial 2


  • Propafenone (n=9) vs placebo (n=9)
  • Percent attack free: 67% vs 22%
  • Median time to first recurrence: 62 days vs 5 days


  • Propafenone (n=15) vs placebo (n=15)
  • Percent attack free: 38% vs 7%
  • Median time to first recurrence: 31 days vs 8 days

Long-term Safety Analysis

  • 474 patients with supraventricular arrhythmias were treated with propafenone for up to 5 years (mean, 14.4 months).
  • 14 patients died; no age-adjusted difference in mortality was noted when compared with the rate in a similar patient population.
  • Comparison was not a randomized trial and the 95% CI around the comparison was large.

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Note

Not Applicable

Propafenone Hcl Tablets Patient Counseling

Patient Counseling

Agranulocytosis risk: Report promptly any signs of infection such as fever, sore throat, or chills.

Report any change in OTC, prescription or supplement use.

Report symptoms associated with altered electrolyte balance (eg, excessive or prolonged diarrhea, sweating, vomiting, loss of appetite, thirst).

Do not double the next dose if a dose is missed; next dose should be taken at the usual time.