How do I start taking dofetilide?

You'll spend four days in the hospital when you start taking dofetilide. This is to make sure the medication does not cause any problems and to find out the correct dose for you. Your doctor may make changes to the amount of medication you take while you are in the hospital.

Dofetilide (brand name Tikosyn®) can be expensive. Call your insurance company to find out how much you will need to pay for the medication.

How do I take dofetilide at home?

Dofetilide comes in capsule form. Your prescription label tells you how much medication to take and how often to take it. It is important to take dofetilide exactly as prescribed, at the same time every day, even if you feel well. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain anything you don’t understand. You can take dofetilide with or without food. Do not skip a dose. Take only the amount of the medication that your doctor prescribes.

If you have any questions about your prescription or how to get refills, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

Where can I get my dofetilide prescription filled?

Contact your pharmacy to see if they can fill your prescription. Not all pharmacies carry dofetilide. If you have trouble finding the medication, talk to your doctor.

What special instructions should I follow while using this drug?

Before you get a prescription for dofetilide, tell your doctor:

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to dofetilide and describe what happened when you took this medication.
  • The names of all prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take. Do not start taking any new medications or supplements without asking your doctor.
  • If you have heart problems, especially a heart condition called “long QT syndrome,” or if you have kidney or liver problems, or low potassium or magnesium levels.
  • If you are pregnant, plan to get pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Other important instructions when taking dofetilide:

  • Although dofetilide is used to correct an irregular heartbeat, taking this medication can also increase your risk for developing an irregular heartbeat. Because of this, it is important that you keep all of your doctor and laboratory appointments to check your response to the medication. You will likely need an occasional electrocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart rate and rhythm. You may also need blood tests to see if you need any changes to your medication.
  • Read the information that comes with your prescription or this patient education handout every time you get your prescription refilled, especially if you have had recent changes in your medications or health. If you have any questions, ask your pharmacist.
  • DO NOT take dofetilide (and tell your doctor) if you take:
    • Cimetidine (Tagamet®).
    • Cisapride (Propulsid®).
    • Verapamil (Calan®, Covera-HS®, Isoptin®, others).
    • Ketoconazole (Nizoral®).
    • Itraconazole (Sporanox®).
    • Trimethoprim (Proloprim®, Primsol®, others).
    • Trimethoprim with sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim®, Septra®, Cotrimoxazole®).
    • Hydrochlorothiazide.
    • Ziprasidone (Geodon®).
    • Amitriptyline (Elavil®) or other tricyclic antidepressants.
    • Promethazine (Phenergan®).
    • Prochlorperazine (Compazine®).
    • Quinidine (Quinaglute®, Quinidex Extentabs®, others).
    • Disopyramide (Norpace®).
    • Sotalol (Betapace®).
  • The following drugs can INTERACT with dofetilide. Check with your physician before you take any of the following medications:
    • Amiodarone (Cordarone®).
    • Digoxin (Lanoxin®, Lanoxicaps®, Digitek®).
    • Metformin (Glucophage®, Glucovance®).
    • Megestrol (Megace®).
    • Diltiazem (Cardizem®, others).
    • Zafirlukast (Accolate®).
    • Quinine.
    • Fluconazole (Diflucan®).
    • Erythromycin.
    • Clarithromycin (Biaxin®).
    • Norfloxacin (Noroxin®).
    • Gatifloxacin (Tequin®).
    • Moxifloxacin (Avelox®) and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
    • Fluoxetine (Prozac®).
    • Sertraline (Zoloft®).
    • Paroxetine (Paxil®) and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
    • Furosemide (Lasix®).
    • Triamterene (Dyrenium®).
    • Amiloride (Midamor®) and other diuretics.
    • Indinavir (Crixivan®) and other protease inhibitors.
  • Before you have any surgical or dental procedure or emergency treatment, tell the doctor or dentist that you take dofetilide.
  • You may need to wear identification that says you are taking dofetilide.
  • Never stop taking this medicine without first asking your doctor.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice on diet, including guidelines for alcoholic beverages.
  • Be sure you always have enough of this medication with you. Check your supply before vacations, holidays and other occasions. You may not be able to get a refill.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if you remember a missed dose near the time you should take the next dose, take only the regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose. If you are unsure of what to do, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What are common side effects and what can I do about them?

Call your doctor right away or seek emergency treatment if you have:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat.
  • Pounding, slow heartbeat.
  • Chest pain.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness/faint.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Severe diarrhea.
  • Vomiting with loss of appetite.
  • Unusual sweating.
  • Increased thirst.

Talk with your doctor if you have these less serious side effects:

  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Any other side effects that cause concern.

How should I store dofetilide?

  • Store dofetilide in a tightly closed container at room temperature in a dry place. Keep this medicine away from
    direct light and heat.
  • Do not store dofetilide in the bathroom or other damp areas. Moisture can break down the medication.
  • Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children.
  • Never share your medication with anyone.
  • Never take outdated medications. Some medication prescription labels list an expiration date. If such a date is
    not on your medication label, or if you are unsure how old a medication is, call your pharmacy.

If you have any questions or concerns about this medication, please contact your doctor.

This is a summary of information to help you understand and safely take your medication. Ask your doctor and/or pharmacist for more information about your medications and special instructions you may need based on your overall health.

This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/05/2020.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy