The use of propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules in conjunction with other drugs that prolong the QT interval has not been extensively studied. Such drugs may include many antiarrhythmics, some phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressants, and oral macrolides. Withhold Class IA and III antiarrhythmic agents for at least 5 half-lives prior to dosing with propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules. Avoid the use of propafenone with Class IA and III antiarrhythmic agents (including quinidine and amiodarone). There is only limited experience with the concomitant use of Class IB or IC antiarrhythmics.
Propafenone is metabolized by CYP2D6, CYP3A4, and CYP1A2 isoenzymes. Approximately 6% of Caucasians in the U.S. population are naturally deficient in CYP2D6 activity and other demographic groups are deficient to a somewhat lesser extent. Drugs that inhibit these CYP pathways (such as desipramine, paroxetine, ritonavir, sertraline for CYP2D6; ketoconazole, erythromycin, saquinavir, and grapefruit juice for CYP3A4; and amiodarone and tobacco smoke for CYP1A2) can be expected to cause increased plasma levels of propafenone.
Increased exposure to propafenone may lead to cardiac arrhythmias and exaggerated beta-adrenergic blocking activity. Because of its metabolism, the combination of CYP3A4 inhibition and either CYP2D6 deficiency or CYP2D6 inhibition in users of propafenone is potentially hazardous. Therefore, avoid simultaneous use of propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules with both a CYP2D6 inhibitor and a CYP3A4 inhibitor.
Propafenone exerts a negative inotropic activity on the myocardium as well as beta blockade effects and may provoke overt heart failure. In the U.S. trial (RAFT) in patients with symptomatic AF, heart failure was reported in 4 (1%) patients receiving propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules (all doses), compared to 1 (0.8%) patient receiving placebo. Proarrhythmic effects more likely occur when propafenone is administered to patients with heart failure (NYHA III and IV) or severe myocardial ischemia [see Contraindications (4)].
In clinical trial experience with propafenone hydrochloride immediate-release, new or worsened congestive heart failure has been reported in 3.7% of patients with ventricular arrhythmia. These events were more likely in subjects with preexisting heart failure and coronary artery disease. New onset of heart failure attributable to propafenone developed in less than 0.2% of patients with ventricular arrhythmia and in 1.9% of patients with paroxysmal AF or PSVT.
Propafenone slows atrioventricular conduction and may also cause dose-related first-degree AV block. Average PR interval prolongation and increases in QRS duration are also dose-related. Do not give propafenone to patients with atrioventricular and intraventricular conduction defects in the absence of a pacemaker [see Contraindications (4), Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].
In a U.S. trial (RAFT) in 523 patients with a history of symptomatic AF treated with propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules, sinus bradycardia (rate less than 50 beats/min) was reported with the same frequency with propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules and placebo.
Propafenone may alter both pacing and sensing thresholds of implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. During and after therapy, monitor and re-program these devices accordingly.
Agranulocytosis has been reported in patients receiving propafenone. Generally, the agranulocytosis occurred within the first 2 months of propafenone therapy and upon discontinuation of therapy, the white count usually normalized by 14 days. Unexplained fever or decrease in white cell count, particularly during the initial 3 months of therapy, warrant consideration of possible agranulocytosis or granulocytopenia. Instruct patients to report promptly any signs of infection such as fever, sore throat, or chills.
Propafenone is highly metabolized by the liver. Severe liver dysfunction increases the bioavailability of propafenone to approximately 70% compared with 3% to 40% in patients with normal liver function when given propafenone hydrochloride immediate-release tablets. In 8 patients with moderate to severe liver disease administered propafenone hydrochloride immediate-release tablets, the mean half-life was approximately 9 hours. No trials have compared bioavailability of propafenone from propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules in patients with normal and impaired hepatic function. Increased bioavailability of propafenone in these patients may result in excessive accumulation. Carefully monitor patients with impaired hepatic function for excessive pharmacological effects [see Overdosage (10)].
Approximately 50% of propafenone metabolites are excreted in the urine following administration of propafenone hydrochloride immediate-release tablets. No trials have been performed to assess the percentage of metabolites eliminated in the urine following the administration of propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules.
In patients with impaired renal function monitor for signs of overdosage [see Overdosage (10)].
Exacerbation of myasthenia gravis has been reported during propafenone therapy.
Positive ANA titers have been reported in patients receiving propafenone. They have been reversible upon cessation of treatment and may disappear even in the face of continued propafenone therapy. These laboratory findings were usually not associated with clinical symptoms, but there is one published case of drug-induced lupus erythematosis (positive rechallenge); it resolved completely upon discontinuation of therapy. Carefully evaluate patients who develop an abnormal ANA test and if persistent or worsening elevation of ANA titers is detected, consider discontinuing therapy.
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
The data described below reflect exposure to propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules 225 mg twice daily in 126 patients, to propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules 325 mg twice daily in 135 patients, to propafenone hydrochloride extended-release capsules 425 mg twice daily in 136 patients, and to placebo in 126 patients for up to 39 weeks (mean 20 weeks) in a placebo-controlled trial (RAFT) conducted in the U.S. The most commonly reported adverse events with propafenone (greater than 5% and greater than placebo), excluding those not reasonably associated with the use of the drug or because they were associated with the condition being treated, were dizziness, palpitations, chest pain, dyspnea, taste disturbance, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, constipation, upper respiratory tract infection, edema, and influenza. The frequency of discontinuation due to adverse events was 17%, and the rate was highest during the first 14 days of treatment.
Cardiac-related adverse events occurring in greater than or equal to 2% of the patients in any of the RAFT propafenone extended-release treatment groups and more common with propafenone than with placebo, excluding those that are common in the population and those not plausibly related to drug therapy, included the following: angina pectoris, atrial flutter, AV block first-degree, bradycardia, congestive cardiac failure, cardiac murmur, edema, dyspnea, rales, wheezing, and cardioactive drug level above therapeutic.
Propafenone prolongs the PR and QRS intervals in patients with atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. Prolongation of the QRS interval makes it difficult to interpret the effect of propafenone on the QT interval [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].
Non-cardiac related adverse events occurring in greater than or equal to 2% of the patients in any of the RAFT propafenone extended-release treatment groups and more common with propafenone than with placebo, excluding those that are common in the population and those not plausibly related to drug therapy, included the following: blurred vision, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, upper respiratory tract infection, blood alkaline phosphatase increased, hematuria, muscle weakness, dizziness (excluding vertigo), headache, taste disturbance, tremor, somnolence, anxiety, depression, ecchymosis.
No clinically important differences in incidence of adverse reactions were noted by age or gender. Too few non-Caucasian patients were enrolled to assess adverse events according to race.
Adverse events occurring in 2% or more of the patients in any of the ERAFT [see Clinical Studies (14)] propafenone extended-release treatment groups and not listed above include the following: bundle branch block left, bundle branch block right, conduction disorders, sinus bradycardia, and hypotension.
Other adverse events reported with propafenone clinical trials not already listed elsewhere in the prescribing information include the following adverse events by body and preferred term.
Blood and Lymphatic System
Anemia, lymphadenopathy, spleen disorder, thrombocytopenia.
Unstable angina, atrial hypertrophy, cardiac arrest, coronary artery disease, extrasystoles, myocardial infarction, nodal arrhythmia, palpitations, pericarditis, sinoatrial block, sinus arrest, sinus arrhythmia, supraventricular extrasystoles, ventricular extrasystoles, ventricular hypertrophy.
Ear and Labyrinth
Hearing impaired, tinnitus, vertigo.
Eye hemorrhage, eye inflammation, eyelid ptosis, miosis, retinal disorder, visual acuity reduced.
Abdominal distension, abdominal pain, duodenitis, dyspepsia, dysphagia, eructation, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gingival bleeding, glossitis, glossodynia, gum pain, halitosis, intestinal obstruction, melena, mouth ulceration, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, rectal bleeding, sore throat.
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions
Chest pain, feeling hot, hemorrhage, malaise, pain, pyrexia.
Abnormal heart sounds, abnormal pulse, carotid bruit, decreased blood chloride, decreased blood pressure, decreased blood sodium, decreased hemoglobin, decreased neutrophil count, decreased platelet count, decreased prothrombin level, decreased red blood cell count, decreased weight, glycosuria present, increased alanine aminotransferase, increased aspartate aminotransferase, increased blood bilirubin, increased blood cholesterol, increased blood creatinine, increased blood glucose, increased blood lactate dehydrogenase, increased blood pressure, increased blood prolactin, increased blood triglycerides, increased blood urea, increased blood uric acid, increased eosinophil count, increased gamma-glutamyltransferase, increased monocyte count, increased prostatic specific antigen, increased prothrombin level, increased weight, increased white blood cell count, ketonuria present, proteinuria present.
Metabolism and Nutrition
Anorexia, dehydration, diabetes mellitus, gout, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hypokalemia.
Musculoskeletal, Connective Tissue and Bone
Arthritis, bursitis, collagen-vascular disease, costochondritis, joint disorder, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, myalgia, neck pain, pain in jaw, sciatica, tendonitis.
Amnesia, ataxia, balance impaired, brain damage, cerebrovascular accident, dementia, gait abnormal, hypertonia, hypothesia, insomnia, paralysis, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy, speech disorder, syncope, tongue hypoesthesia.
Decreased libido, emotional disturbance, mental disorder, neurosis, nightmare, sleep disorder.
Renal and Urinary
Dysuria, nocturia, oliguria, pyuria, renal failure, urinary casts, urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urine abnormal.
Reproductive System and Breast
Breast pain, impotence, prostatism.
Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal
Atelectasis, breath sounds decreased, chronic obstructive airways disease, cough, epistaxis, hemoptysis, lung disorder, pleural effusion, pulmonary congestion, rales, respiratory failure, rhinitis, throat tightness.
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue
Alopecia, dermatitis, dry skin, erythema, nail abnormality, petechiae, pruritus, sweating increased, urticaria.
Arterial embolism limb, deep limb venous thrombosis, flushing, hematoma, hypertension, hypertensive crisis, hypotension, labile blood pressure, pallor, peripheral coldness, peripheral vascular disease, thrombosis.
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