Flecainide is an antiarrhythmic medication. It treats paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), a potentially life-threatening irregular heartbeat. The prescription drug can slow or block electrical signals in the heart and stabilize the heartbeat. People taking flecainide should be monitored closely for problems with the heart, liver and kidneys.
Flecainide is a prescription antiarrhythmic medication. It treats a life-threatening irregular or abnormal heartbeat. The brand name is Tambocor®.
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
Flecainide is used to treat a specific life-threatening type of arrhythmia called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT).
Normally, the four chambers of the heart contract (beat) in a predictable, coordinated way. PSVTs are sudden, occasional, rapid heartbeats that start somewhere above the lower heart chambers (ventricles).
Flecainide may also be used to treat life-threatening sustained ventricular tachycardia.
Flecainide can slow or block electrical signals in the heart and stabilize the heartbeat.
Flecainide comes in tablets that you swallow. Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions on how to take flecainide.
Most people on flecainide take two tablets each day, one every 12 hours. Take it with or without food at about the same times every day.
The starting dose is typically 50 or 100 milligrams (mg), depending on the arrhythmia being treated. Your healthcare provider may increase the amount every few days, working up to the optimal dose for you.
Your dose may depend on:
Your healthcare provider will monitor you carefully when you start flecainide and for as long as you take it. You may even stay in the hospital when you start taking flecainide in case you have any adverse reactions.
Flecainide is associated with some health risks, including possible:
People taking flecainide should be monitored closely for problems with the liver and kidneys.
The drug should be used while pregnant only when necessary. People who are breastfeeding and taking flecainide should be monitored to measure the amount of the drug released into breast milk.
Flecainide overdose can be fatal. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, within six hours. But don’t take it too close to your next dose, and don’t double your next dose.
Flecainide can cause side effects. Tell your healthcare provider if any of them are severe or don’t go away. Common side effects may include:
If you have any of these serious side effects, report them to your healthcare provider right away:
Allergic reactions to flecainide are rare. But report any signs of allergy to your healthcare provider, such as:
Tell your healthcare provider if you’re taking any other medications or supplements. Some can interfere or interact with flecainide, including:
Flecainide can control arrhythmia, but it cannot cure it. You may take flecainide for a long period of time, even for the rest of your life.
Don’t stop taking flecainide without talking to your healthcare provider. Not taking the medication can make a heart condition worse.
You should not take flecainide if you have certain other medical conditions, particularly other heart conditions. Your healthcare provider may advise against flecainide if you have conditions such as:
Tell your healthcare provider about any other health conditions you have to ensure that flecainide is safe for you.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Flecainide is a prescription antiarrhythmic medication. It can’t cure arrhythmia, but it can help prevent irregular or abnormal heartbeat, stroke and sudden cardiac death. Your healthcare provider will monitor you carefully to make sure the drug doesn’t cause other heart problems or issues with the kidneys or liver.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/23/2022.
Learn more about our editorial process.