Mexitil is prescribed to treat arrhythmias that arise in the ventricles of the heart, mainly after a heart attack. Heart arrhythmias occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats don't work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. This can cause you to feel light-headed, have chest pain, shortness of breath, or a change in your heartbeat like fluttering or speeding up.
When taken as directed, Mexitil or generic Mexiletine decreases the sensitivity of your heart muscle cells to electrical impulses, therefore slowing the electrical conduction in the heart muscle. This helps to restore disturbances in heart rhythm (arrhythmias), which can seriously undermine the pumping action of the heart and result in inefficient blood circulation around your body. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Mexitil may be prescribed to treat certain types of serious and potentially fatal conditions such as ventricular tachycardia. V-tach is a pulse rate of more than 100 beats per minute, with at least three irregular heartbeats in a row. Your heart rate is controlled by electrical impulses that trigger each contraction and determine the rhythm of the heart. When this process is disrupted and the electrical signals are sent too quickly, ventricular tachycardia can occur. The rapid heartbeat doesn’t give the ventricles enough to time to fill with blood before the heart contracts. As a result, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Ventricular tachycardia may only last for a few seconds or for much longer. It doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when symptoms do occur, they may include lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. The condition most commonly affects people who have heart disorders, such as coronary artery disease and cardiomyopathy. Mexitil is a sodium channel blocker that can also be prescribed to treat the pain of diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes).
Although Mexitil often provides great benefits to people with an irregular heartbeat, it may infrequently cause a serious new irregular heartbeat. Therefore, when starting treatment with this drug, your doctor may recommend that you stay in the hospital for proper monitoring. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking this medication for your condition. Mexitil may interact with other medications. Be sure your doctor is aware of all prescription drugs, over the counter medicines, and any supplements you are taking.
Make sure you know how your body will react to Mexitil before you drive or take part in any activities that could be dangerous if you feel dizzy or are not alert. Ask about the safety of taking Mexitil if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or are breast feeding. Keep all medications out of children's reach and never share with anyone else.
Side effects of Mexitil that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible include: breathing problems; unusual bleeding or bruising; continued irregular heartbeat.