Propafenone Hydrochloride (Page 3 of 7)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of propafenone hydrochloride. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Gastrointestinal: A number of patients with liver abnormalities associated with propafenone therapy have been reported in post-marketing experience. Some appeared due to hepatocellular injury, some were cholestatic and some showed a mixed picture. Some of these reports were simply discovered through clinical chemistries, others because of clinical symptoms including fulminant hepatitis and death. One case was rechallenged with a positive outcome.

Blood and Lymphatic System: Increased bleeding time

Immune System: lupus erythematosus

Nervous System: Apnea, coma

Renal and Urinary: Hyponatremia/inappropriate ADH secretion, kidney failure


7.1 CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 Inhibitors

Drugs that inhibit CYP2D6 (such as desipramine, paroxetine, ritonavir, or sertraline) and CYP3A4 (such as ketoconazole, ritonavir, saquinavir, erythromycin, grapefruit juice) can be expected to cause increased plasma levels of propafenone. The combination of CYP3A4 inhibition and either CYP2D6 deficiency or CYP2D6 inhibition with administration of propafenone may increase the risk of adverse reactions, including proarrhythmia. Therefore, simultaneous use of propafenone hydrochloride with both a CYP2D6 inhibitor and a CYP3A4 inhibitor should be avoided [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) and Dosage and Administration (2)].

Amiodarone: Concomitant administration of propafenone and amiodarone can affect conduction and repolarization and is not recommended.

Cimetidine: Concomitant administration of propafenone immediate-release tablets and cimetidine in 12 healthy subjects resulted in a 20% increase in steady-state plasma concentrations of propafenone.

Fluoxetine: Concomitant administration of propafenone and fluoxetine in extensive metabolizers increased the S-propafenone Cmax and AUC by 39% and 50%, respectively, and the R propafenone Cmax and AUC by 71% and 50%, respectively.

Quinidine: Small doses of quinidine completely inhibit the CYP2D6 hydroxylation metabolic pathway, making all patients, in effect, slow metabolizers [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Concomitant administration of quinidine (50 mg three times daily) with 150 mg immediate release propafenone three times daily decreased the clearance of propafenone by 60% in extensive metabolizers, making them slow metabolizers. Steady-state plasma concentrations more than doubled for propafenone and decreased 50% for 5-OH-propafenone. A 100 mg dose of quinidine tripled steady-state concentrations of propafenone. Avoid concomitant use of propafenone and quinidine.

Rifampin: Concomitant administration of rifampin and propafenone in extensive metabolizers decreased the plasma concentrations of propafenone by 67% with a corresponding decrease of 5-OH-propafenone by 65%. The concentrations of norpropafenone increased by 30%. In slow metabolizers, there was a 50% decrease in propafenone plasma concentrations and an increase in the AUC and Cmax of norpropafenone by 74% and 20%, respectively. Urinary excretion of propafenone and its metabolites decreased significantly. Similar results were noted in elderly patients: Both the AUC and Cmax propafenone decreased by 84%, with a corresponding decrease in AUC and Cmax of 5-OH-propafenone by 69% and 57%, respectively.

7.2 Digoxin

Concomitant use of propafenone and digoxin increased steady-state serum digoxin exposure (AUC) in patients by 60% to 270%, and decreased the clearance of digoxin by 31% to 67%. Monitor plasma digoxin levels of patients receiving propafenone and adjust digoxin dosage as needed.

7.3 Warfarin

The concomitant administration of propafenone and warfarin increased warfarin plasma concentrations at steady state by 39% in healthy volunteers and prolonged the prothrombin time (PT) in patients taking warfarin. Adjust the warfarin dose as needed by monitoring INR (international normalized ratio).

7.4 Orlistat

Orlistat may limit the fraction of propafenone available for absorption. In post marketing reports, abrupt cessation of orlistat in patients stabilized on propafenone has resulted in severe adverse events including convulsions, atrioventricular block, and acute circulatory failure.

7.5 Beta-Antagonists

Concomitant use of propafenone and propranolol in healthy subjects increased propranolol plasma concentrations at steady state by 113%. In 4 patients, administration of metoprolol with propafenone increased the metoprolol plasma concentrations at steady state by 100% to 400%. The pharmacokinetics of propafenone was not affected by the coadministration of either propranolol or metoprolol. In clinical trials using propafenone immediate release tablets, subjects who were receiving beta-blockers concurrently did not experience an increased incidence of side effects.

7.6 Lidocaine

No significant effects on the pharmacokinetics of propafenone or lidocaine have been seen following their concomitant use in patients. However, concomitant use of propafenone and lidocaine has been reported to increase the risks of central nervous system side effects of lidocaine.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

There are no studies of propafenone hydrochloride in pregnant women. Available data from published case reports and several decades of postmarketing experience with use of propafenone hydrochloride in pregnancy have not identified any drug-associated risks of miscarriage, birth defects, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Untreated arrhythmias during pregnancy may pose a risk to the pregnant woman and fetus (see Clinical Considerations). Propafenone and its metabolite, 5-OH-propafenone, cross the placenta in humans. In animal studies, propafenone was not teratogenic. At maternally toxic doses (ranging from 2 to 6 times the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD]), there was evidence of adverse developmental outcomes when administered to pregnant rabbits and rats during organogenesis or when administered to pregnant rats during mid-gestation through weaning of their offspring (see Data).

The estimated background risks of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated populations are unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Disease-associated maternal and/or embryo/fetal risk: The incidence of VT is increased and may be more symptomatic during pregnancy. Ventricular arrhythmias most often occur in pregnant women with underlying cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease, or mitral valve prolapse. Breakthrough arrhythmias may also occur during pregnancy, as therapeutic treatment levels may be difficult to maintain due to the increased volume of distribution and increased drug metabolism inherent in the pregnant state.

Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions: Propafenone and its metabolite have been shown to cross the placenta. Adverse reactions such as fetal/neonatal arrhythmias have been associated with the use of other antiarrhythmic agents by pregnant women. Fetal/neonatal monitoring for signs and symptoms of arrhythmia is recommended during and after treatment of pregnant women with propafenone.

Labor or Delivery: Risk of arrhythmias may increase during labor and delivery. Patients treated with propafenone hydrochloride should be monitored continuously for arrhythmias during labor and delivery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].


Propafenone has been shown to cause embryo-fetal mortality in rabbits and rats when given orally during organogenesis at maternally toxic doses of
150 mg/kg/day (rabbit: maternal mortality, decreased body weight gain and food consumption at approximately 3 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) and 600 mg/kg/day (rat: maternal decreased body weight gain and food consumption at approximately 6 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis). In addition, a maternally toxic dose of 600 mg/kg/day (approximately 6 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) also caused decreased fetal weights in rats. Increased placental weights and delayed ossification occurred in rabbits at a dose of 30 mg/kg/day (less than the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) in the absence of maternal toxicity. No adverse developmental outcomes in the absence of maternal toxicity were seen following oral doses of 15 mg/kg/day to rabbits or up to 270 mg/kg/day to rats administered during organogenesis (equivalent to 0.3 times or approximately 3 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis, respectively). In an oral study, female rats received propafenone up to 500 mg/kg/day from mid-gestation through weaning. At 90 mg/kg/day (equivalent to the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis), there were no adverse developmental outcomes in the absence of maternal toxicity. However, doses ≥180 mg/kg/day (2 or more times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) produced increases in maternal deaths and resulted in reductions in neonatal survival, body weight gain, and delayed development in the presence of maternal toxicity.

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