Used to control rapid heartbeats and abnormal heart rhythms that are serious or life-threatening. It may also be used when patients are not able to take the oral form. This medicine is a beta-blocker and antiarrhythmic.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
- A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using arsenic trioxide (Trisenox®), cisapride (Propulsid®), dofetilide (Tikosyn®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, procainamide, quinidine, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, or Quinaglute®), a phenothiazine medicine (such as prochlorperazine, Compazine®, Mellaril®, Phenergan®, Thorazine®, or Trilafon®), medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Pamelor®, Prozac®, Sarafem®, or Vivactil®), certain antibiotics (such as erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, Avelox®, Levaquin®, or Zagam®), or medicine to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Geodon®, Haldol®, Mellaril®, Orap®, Serentil®, or Seroquel®).
- Tell your doctor if you are also using albuterol (Ventolin®), clonidine (Catapres®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), guanethidine (Ismelin®), isoproterenol (Isuprel®), reserpine (Harmonyl®), terbutaline (Brethine®, Bricanyl®), insulin or diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glyburide, glipizide, metformin, Actos®, Avandia®, or Glucotrol®), a diuretic or "water pill" (such as hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], furosemide, or Lasix®), or certain blood pressure medicines (such as atenolol, diltiazem, metoprolol, nifedipine, propranolol, verapamil, Inderal®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Toprol®, or Verelan®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, diabetes, low blood sugar, an overactive thyroid, or low magnesium in the blood. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease, angina (severe chest pain), low blood pressure, a history of a recent heart attack, or a history of heart failure.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. These symptoms are more likely to occur when you begin using this medicine, or when the dose is increased. Getting up slowly may help.
- This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are receiving this medicine.
- This medicine may cause changes in your blood sugar levels. Also, this medicine may cover up signs of low blood sugar, such as a rapid pulse rate. Check with your doctor if you have these problems or if you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Chest pain.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting.
- Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat.
- Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
- Increased sweating.
- Shortness of breath, cold sweat, and bluish-colored skin.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Back pain.
- Blurred vision or other changes in vision.
- Decreased appetite.
- Depression, anxiety, or mood changes.
- Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach pain or upset,
- Joint or muscle pain.
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed.
- Trouble sleeping.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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