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dofetilide

Pronunciation: doe FET i lide

Brand: Tikosyn

What is the most important information I should know about dofetilide?

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Dofetilide is available only from a hospital or specialty pharmacy.

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You should not take dofetilide if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe kidney disease (or you are on dialysis) or a history of Long QT syndrome.

Before you receive dofetilide, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, severe liver disease, depression, mental illness, or an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood).

There are many other drugs that should not be used together with dofetilide. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

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You will need to spend at least 3 days in a hospital setting when you first start taking dofetilide. This is so your heart rhythm and kidney function can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects.

Tell your doctor if you have a prolonged illness that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, heavy sweating, increased thirst, or loss of appetite. These conditions can cause an electrolyte imbalance (such as low potassium levels), making it dangerous for you to use dofetilide.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Visit your doctor regularly.

What is dofetilide?

Dofetilide is a heart rhythm medication, also called an antiarrhythmic.

Dofetilide is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with certain heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart). Dofetilide is used in people with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.

Dofetilide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking dofetilide?

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You should not take dofetilide if you are allergic to it, or if you have

  • severe kidney disease (or you are on dialysis); or
  • a history of Long QT syndrome.
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There are many other drugs that can cause serious or life threatening medical problems if you take them together with dofetilide. The following drugs should not be used while you are taking dofetilide:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • megestrol (Megace);
  • prochlorperazine (Compazine);
  • trimethoprim (Proloprim, Trimpex, Bactrim, Cotrim, Septra);
  • verapamil (Covera, Calan, Isoptin, Verelan); or
  • a diuretic (water pill) that contains hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), such as Accuretic, Aldactazide, Aldoril, Amturnide, Atacand HCT, Avalide, Benicar HCT, Capozide, Diovan HCT, Dyazide, Exforge HCT, Hyzaar, Hydra-Zide, HydroDiuril, Inderide, Lopressor HCT, Lotensin HCT, Maxzide, Micardis HCT, Moduretic, Monopril HCT, Prinzide, Tekturna HCT, Teveten HCT, Tribenzor, Uniretic, Vaseretic, Zestoretic, Ziac, and others.

To make sure you can safely take dofetilide, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;
  • kidney disease;
  • severe liver disease;
  • depression, mental illness; or
  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood).
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FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether dofetilide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

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It is not known whether dofetilide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using dofetilide.

How should I take dofetilide?

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Dofetilide is available only from a hospital or specialty pharmacy.

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You will need to spend at least 3 days in a hospital setting when you first start taking dofetilide. This is so your heart rhythm and kidney function can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects.

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Dofetilide comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

You may take dofetilide with or without food.

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Do not skip doses or stop taking dofetilide without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Tell your doctor if you have a prolonged illness that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, or heavy sweating. These conditions can cause an electrolyte imbalance, making it dangerous for you to use dofetilide.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney function may also need to be checked with frequent blood tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

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Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include some of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while taking dofetilide?

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with dofetilide and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of dofetilide?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats, feeling like you might pass out;
  • low magnesium (confusion, uneven heart rate, jerking muscle movements, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild headache;
  • mild dizziness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • back pain;
  • nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; or
  • mild skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect dofetilide?

Many drugs can interact with dofetilide. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • arsenic trioxide (Trisenox);
  • conivaptan (Vaprisol);
  • imatinib (Gleevec);
  • isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
  • tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), or pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam);
  • an antidepressant such as amitriptylline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), and others;
  • antifungal medicine such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), miconazole (Oravig), or voriconazole (Vfend);
  • anti-malaria medications such as chloroquine (Aralen) or mefloquine (Lariam);
  • a diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride amiloride (Midamor), triamterene triamterene (Dyrenium), and others;
  • heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), disopyramide (Norpace), dronedarone (Multaq), ibutilide (Corvert), nicardipine (Cardene), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quin-G), or sotalol (Betapace);
  • HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), or ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra);
  • medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting such as dolasetron (Anzemet), droperidol (Inapsine), or ondansetron (Zofran);
  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or ziprasidone (Geodon);
  • migraine headache medicine such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet) or zolmitriptan (Zomig);
  • narcotic medication such as methadone (Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine); or
  • oral diabetes medications that contain metformin (Actoplus Met, Avandamet, Glucophage, Glucovance, Janumet, Kombiglyze, Metaglip, Prandimet).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with dofetilide. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about dofetilide.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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