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What Is Flecainide Used For?

Flecainide is prescribed to prevent potentially serious heart rhythm problems in adults. Although it has not been adequately studied in children, flecainide can be used for treating heart rhythm problems in children in certain cases. This antiarrhythmic drug works by slowing down the electrical impulses in the heart.

An Overview of Uses for Flecainide

Flecainide acetate (Tambocor™) is a prescription antiarrhythmia medication. It is used to prevent certain types of abnormal heartbeats, known medically as arrhythmias.
An arrhythmia occurs when something goes wrong with the electrical system of the heart, which normally controls the rate and rhythm of each heartbeat. There are several different types of arrhythmias. Flecainide is used in people who have one of the following arrhythmias:

Using Flecainide for Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (PSVT)

A supraventricular arrhythmia is one that begins in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria). People with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia have a fast heart rate that occurs from time to time, but not all the time.
In a normal heartbeat, an electrical signal travels from a special bundle of neurons in the heart called the sinoatrial node (more commonly called the SA node) to the atria, telling them to contract. The signal then travels onward through the bottom two chambers of the heart (the ventricles). In PSVT, the electrical signal that travels to the ventricles reenters the atria, causing extra heartbeats. As a result, the heart can beat over 100 times a minute.
Not everyone who has PSVT will need medical treatment. This is because, for some people, the fast heart rate begins and ends quickly, causing no or minimal symptoms. In other people, however, the fast heart rate may last a long time and cause severe symptoms. Some of the symptoms of PSVT may include:
  • A racing or pounding heartbeat (heart palpitations)
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
Flecainide is used to prevent PSVT in people who have disabling symptoms. It is only approved for people who do not have structural heart disease (do not have an abnormality in the normal structure of the heart).
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Flecainide Acetate Information

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