What are tocainide tablets?
TOCAINIDE (Tonocard®) is an antiarrhythmic agent. Tocainide treats irregular heart rhythm and can slow rapid heartbeats (tachycardia). Tocainide can help your heart to return to and maintain a normal rhythm. Generic tocainide tablets are not yet available.
NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.
What should my health care professional know before I take tocainide?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
other heart problems
an unusual or allergic reaction to tocainide, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take tocainide tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. If tocainide upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. There should be an interval of 4 to 6 hours between doses. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with tocainide?
beta blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart problems
medicines to control heart rhythm
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What should I watch for while taking tocainide?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Do not stop taking tocainide suddenly; this may cause serious, heart-related side effects. Because your condition and the use of tocainide carry some risk, it is a good idea to carry an identification card, necklace or bracelet with details of your condition, medications and prescriber or health care professional.
Check your heart rate (pulse) and blood pressure regularly while you are taking tocainide. Ask your prescriber or health care professional what your heart rate and blood pressure should be, and when you should contact him or her. Your prescriber or health care professional also may schedule regular blood tests and electrocardiograms to check your progress.
You may feel dizzy or faint. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how tocainide affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you more dizzy, increase flushing and rapid heartbeats. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Do not treat yourself for fevers, chills, cough or sore throat while you are taking tocainide without asking your prescriber or health care professional for advice.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking tocainide.
What side effects may I notice from taking tocainide?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
chest pain, fast or slow heart rate, palpitations
fever, chills, or sore throat
shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
skin rash, redness, blistering or peeling
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
numbness or tingling in fingers or toes
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.