What is Mexitil?
Mexitil (mexiletine HCl) is an anti-arrhythmic medication used to treat certain types of irregular heartbeat. Mexitil is available in generic form.
Mexitil can help to restore a normal heart rhythm in people with certain types of arrhythmia. This can help to improve symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue, and may also reduce the risk of complications such as stroke. Mexitil may also be used off-label for the treatment of certain other conditions, such as chronic pain.
Side Effects and Risks
The most common side effects associated with Mexitil include dizziness, headache, drowsiness, and nausea. Mexitil can also cause more serious side effects in some people, including irregular heartbeat, fainting, and seizures. If you experience any of these side effects, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Mexitil can interact with a number of other medications, so it is important to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking before starting treatment. Mexitil should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Dosages and Forms
Mexitil is available in oral capsule form. The usual starting dose is 150 mg three times daily. Your doctor may adjust your dose based on your response to treatment. Mexitil should be taken with food to minimize the risk of side effects.
If you are using Mexitil for the treatment of arrhythmia, it is important to continue taking the medication even if you feel well. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause the arrhythmia to return. Mexitil must be prescribed by a doctor and is not available over-the-counter.
Mexitil can interact with a number of other medications. Tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Be sure to mention any of the following:
Beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), propranolol (Inderal), and others
Calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR, Tiazac), verapamil (Calan, Covera HS, Isoptin SR, Verelan), and others
Digitalis or digoxin (Lanoxin)
Ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox)
Medications for anxiety or depression such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), duloxetine (Cymbalta), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), imipramine (Tofranil), and others
Narcotics such as codeine, fentanyl (Duragesic, Sublimaze), hydrocodone ((Lortab, Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Methadose), morphine, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), and others
Quinidine or quinine
Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline ((Elavil, Vanatrip), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin ((Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), and others.
This is not a complete list of Mexitil drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Mexitil and Alcohol
You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Mexitil. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and headache.
Pregnancy and Mexitil
Mexitil should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. Mexitil may be harmful to an unborn baby, and may also pass into breast milk. You should not breastfeed while taking Mexitil.
Mechanism of Action
Mexitil belongs to a class of medications known as antiarrhythmics. It works by slowing the electrical impulses in the heart, which helps to prevent arrhythmias. Mexitil is used for the treatment of arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.
Mexitil is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and reaches peak levels in the blood within 2 to 3 hours. The half-life of Mexitil is 10 to 17 hours. Mexitil is metabolized in the liver and excreted by the kidneys.
Alternatives to Mexitil
There are a number of alternative medications that can be used for the treatment of arrhythmias. Some of these medications include beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and quinidine. Your doctor can help you choose the medication that is right for you.
Examples of beta blockers include:
Examples of calcium channel blockers include:
Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR, Tiazac)
Verapamil (Calan, Covera HS, Isoptin SR, Verelan)
Examples of quinidine include:
Quinidex Extended-Release Capsules Mexican brand names: Quinora, Cardioquin
Symptoms of an Overdose
The symptoms of a Mexitil overdose may include:
Nausea and vomiting
If you think you have overdosed on Mexitil, seek medical attention immediately.
Mexitil should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Mexitil tablets should be kept in their original packaging until ready to use. Mexitil oral suspension should be refrigerated and used within 14 days. Dispose of any unused Mexitil oral suspension after 14 days.