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procainamide (injection) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving procainamide injection (Pronestyl)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to procainamide, or if you have:

  • a serious heart condition such as "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
  • lupus; or
  • a history of "Long QT syndrome."

If possible before you receive procainamide, tell your doctor if you have:

  • congestive heart failure;
  • circulation problems;
  • a history of heart attack or stroke (including "mini-stroke");
  • a weak immune system;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • myasthenia gravis;
  • asthma or sulfite allergy;
  • if you are allergic to aspirin; or
  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a numbing medicine.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether procainamide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Procainamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using procainamide.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated with procainamide to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medication.

How is procainamide injection given (Pronestyl)?

Procainamide is injected into a muscle or into a vein through an IV. You will receive procainamide injection in a hospital setting where your heart can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects.

Your heart rate will be constantly monitored using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). This machine measures electrical activity of the heart. Your breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving procainamide.

Procainamide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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