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Dofetilide should be used with caution since it can induce arrhythmia, a condition that it is supposed to treat. To minimize this risk, it should only be prescribed by a physician with special training on the risks of treatment with dofetilide. Dofetilide is indicated to treat patient with cardiac arrhythmias specifically atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter to a normal cardiac rhythm. It works by blocking the efflux of potassium ion channels thus slowing nerve impulses in the heart. It is clinically preferred over other class III antiarrhythmics in chemical cardioversion of atrial fibrillation and maintenance of sinus rhythm. Dofetilide may also be indicated for other conditions as determined by a qualified physician.
- Cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter
Your doctor will determine Dofetilide dosage depending on a number of factors such as weight, medical history, other medical conditions or other medications that you may be using and the strength of the medicine. Stick to the Dofetilide dose as directed by the doctor and never alter the dosage plan unless authorized by the doctor. Dosage for abnormal heart rhythm:
- Adults- 125- 500 mcg orally (capsules) twice daily. Note, your doctor may adjust your dose when required.
- Children- dose and use should be determined by your physician.
In case you miss a dose of dofetilide, skip the missed dose and revert back to your regular dosing schedule. Never take two doses at once. Always ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding the use of this medicine.
Dofetilide Side Effects
Dofetilide, like all medicines may cause side effects that may differ from one person to the other. The acuteness of the side effects may be different from one patient to the other depending on the patient's body ability to handle the effects of the drug. Stop using dofetilide and report severe side effects to your doctor immediately. Most common side effects associated with Dofetilide include:
- Fast heartbeat
- Mild fever
- Sore throat
Less common side effects include:
- Flaccid paralysis
- Tingling sensation
- Chest pain
- Slow heartbeat
- Difficult breathing
- Weight gain
- Severe allergic reactions (rash, pruritus, hives, chest tightness, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue).
Torsades de pointes is the most serious side effect of dofetilide therapy, though it's dose related. This is not a complete list of possible side effects that may be caused by dofetilide. If you notice any other unusual effects, check with your healthcare provider.
Before taking dofetilide with other drugs, inform your doctor about any medical conditions or allergies that you may have. This is because using dofetilide with other drugs may affect how the drug works and delay the expected results. Below is a list of possible drug interactions with dofetilide that should be checked:
- Grapefruit or juice.
- Ketoconazole, Bactrim
- Verapamil, Diltiazem
If you are taking any of these medications, your doctor or pharmacist should know first before prescribing dofetilide in order to manage possible drug interactions and optimize dofetilide action. However, this is not a complete list of possible drug interaction and you should tell your prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking.