Log in
AF Association
14,939 members17,898 posts

Flecainide

Hi folks, I've been on Flecainide for a few years now with only one complaint! It starts to dissolve immediately and tastes horrid. Occasionally, because it reacts this way, it stays in your throat and it burns really badly and stays like this for ages. Happened to me this morning - is it only me?

53 Replies
oldestnewest

Nope - happens to me too!!

Feels like it sticks in your throat forever sometimes.

Sorry I don’t have any advice as I haven’t yet found a way of avoiding this although I do think it helps to have had a drink first to lubricate the throat.

Keep well, Liz

Reply

Thanks Liz. That's a sensible idea! I take one of these first thing with water but never have a drink first so I'll do that in future. It's still burning my throat now. Good luck! Debbie.

Reply

Yes, I have the same issue. I even changed pharmacy’s hoping a different brand would be better, it wasn’t. I take a drink of water before I try to swallow flec then follow flec with a lot more water. It’s nasty.

Reply

Thanks Hoski, glad it's not just me but sorry it's you!

1 like
Reply

Me too and I also drink water before taking the meds. I find brands differ too - one tab is so rough that it always sticks. I now get Activas (spelling?) and it is easier to take.

Reply

Every brand seems the same to me but I'll definitely have a drink first now. Thanks Finvola!

Reply

My sister told me that she puts the tablet in her mouth along with some water, then swishes it around before swallowing. Helps it slide down better.

Finvola I always use the Actavis brand for any tablets I take, the fillers in their pills don't affect me like other makes do.

Jean

Reply

Thanks Jean, good advice!

Reply

I suspected one brand I once had seemed to be less effective so it could have been the fillers.

1 like
Reply

I'm never sure if any brand is different from another - I just take what they give me. But it'll be after a drink in future!

Reply

Happens to me too and is tastes foul. X

Reply

You'd think they could do something to make it less revolting! x

1 like
Reply

I assumed it was meant to be a revolting taste as a warning to those who shouldn't take it. I took it for about twelve years. Never had any problems or burning but occasionally took it dry when I had no access to liquid. In those cases my tongue went numb.

Reply

Thanks for your reply. I guess everyone responds differently - I couldn't take it without a drink!

Reply

Oh dear, it sound most unpleasant, I take the Actavis brand of Flec with no trouble at all, I think I could swallow a brick and not notice too much, oh but the magnesiun Taurate,......not so easy.

Reply

I've just looked in the cupboard - the brand I'm taking just now is Milpharm but I've got a box of Actavis - I must take more notice which brand I'm taking. I've never taken magnesium taurate, is that bad too?

Reply

If they were all labeled ‘jelly Babies’ I would have no trouble at all would you? Best of luck T bear.

Reply

I love jelly babies! x

Reply

I once took a flecainide by mistake when I should have had a baby aspirin (both look the same) which i dissolved in water and tried to drink. I only knew because if the foul taste! I always follow mine with a cup of tea/ coffee and don't usually notice the taste unless it sticks.

Reply

That must have been a shock! I put out my husband's pills at the same time and one of those is a baby aspirin - I wouldn't fancy swallowing one of those whole either!

1 like
Reply

I am terrible at swallowing pills but luckily have had no trouble with flecainide. I know some people are very good at taking it on an empty stomach and someone on here has nausea when taking it with food. I take one before breakfast but to get the 12 hour ( ish) gap, take my second with evening meal. The reason for this ramble is, I've had patients who coat some tablets with butter or icecream as the only way to swallow and I can't imagine such a small amount needed would affect efficacy.

I've asked three pharmacists over the years about the empty stomach advice and all looked it up and said it doesn't matter and the third one said "does it work " when I said yes, he said well just carry on then.

1 like
Reply

Yes, I was given instructions to take it on an empty stomach due to nausea etc but now I take it when I wake in the morning and again around teatime. It doesn't seem to make any difference to me whether I've eaten or not. Thanks!

Reply

'Does it work?' Sums up a lot!!!haha

1 like
Reply

I tend to lubricate my throat with a gulp of milk first. If I don't I find the taste awful.

Reply

This morning I had water before it and was fine. Thanks Marina!

Reply

You shouldnt use milk with flecainide as it reduces its absorption.

Reply

Thank you, I wasn't aware of that.

Reply

A wise nursing colleague of mine advised me years ago never to put pills on your tongue as they often taste horrible & make you gag, but at the front of the pocket under your tongue keeping your tongue back, then filter the water through your teeth ( so you don’t lose the pills back in the glass haha!). Knock your head back & voila! Pills down with no taste or gag. May take a few tries to get technique right. I take Flecainide & wouldn’t know what it tastes like! Happy pill popping x

2 likes
Reply

Ha ha! However would someone discover that trick! Not sure whether I could manage that but thanks all the same Archie! x

Reply

I also used to suffer from pills lodge in the throat so I take a different approach in that I spilt the tablet between my front teeth just as I take a large drink of water and as previously said move my head back as I gulp. It appears that the smaller pieces of pill are more easily washed down that way and by moving the head back opens up a large passage for everything to travel through.

1 like
Reply

I certainly need to teach myself how to do this. My next dose is at teatime - I'll give it a go. Thanks!

Reply

Someone told me to give my dad his horrible tasting tablets in a spoon of yoghurt...worked well

Reply

Another good idea - I'm certainly getting lots of tips here.

Reply

Have no problem with any brand - and if I get an attack I crunch three in my mouth - don’t care about taste want rid of AFIB asap

Reply

Well if I was in that position I might do it but I just take 50mg twice a day every day. I can taste them now just thinking about what you do!

Reply

I suffer from an inability to swallow pills easily. They often get stuck at the back of my throat. I have been known to take them at the beginning of a big meal, and cough them out at the end.

For this reason, I am especially concerned about any drug inside a capsule. The contents are likely to be corrosive until they arrive at the stomach. I have refused the capsule, slow release form of flecainide.

However, I do not mind the taste at all, and will happily crunch it and swallow with some bread and milk. This is far less damaging to the throat etc than a lump which gets stuck and slowly corrodes.

Reply

Thanks for your reply. Fortunately I can swallow anything else as I take some pretty big capsules for nerve pain but it's these horrid little ones that just get stuck.

Reply

The second method described in this study works well for me (the lean forward method)

health.harvard.edu/blog/two...

Reply

I've just had a look. I didn't realise so many people had problems taking pills. The lean forward method seems a bit odd in that the pill and water would have to go uphill so to speak but I'll try with just some water first. I always drink from a bottle when I take them so I'll try the first method too. Thanks for that oyster.

1 like
Reply

No its not only you. I have always had problems swallowing pills so I trained myself to pop some food in my mouth, say a bit of a biscuit or anything really, chew it as normal and sip some water if its dry, and just as I am about to swallow, throw in the pills and the whole lot go down as if it was just the biscuit. I've tricked the brain into thinking its a normal swallow. Hope this makes sense but I can now swallow up to 6 pills at once. Good luck. Give it a try with a small pill to start.

Reply

Thanks for that. I have to take a lot of pills each day so I have plenty to practise with!

Reply

I was so glad to see your post and the many replies. I've been on Flecainide for about 18 months and have had the same problem several times with it dissolving too soon. The burning in my throat that it causes lasts for hours. I've recently made sure to take a drink of water before I take the pill as others have suggested. So far, it's been working. Good luck, Judy

Reply

Thanks Judy! I had some water before I took the Flecainide this morning and it was fine. Like you say, the burning lasts for hours. I was sucking Strepsils yesterday but nothing helped!

Reply

Not only throat burning, but irritates the stomach lining too.

I have finally solved this problem for myself at least. I put the tablet(s) in a gelatin capsule. I swallow that with an 8 oz glass of water; wait 20 minutes then eat. Now there is no more throat irritation, tummy irritation nor nausea (which I attribute to the stomach lining being irritated.)

Hope this might help you.

1 like
Reply

Now that's a good system - I don't have any problem with capsules so I could do that. Thanks Anne.

Reply

I started taking flecainide yesterday and agree that taking it with water leaves a pretty disgusting taste. I usually swallow my pills with a mouthful of food, that works.

Reply

As a new user of Flecainide I hope it works for you as it does for me. I've just got in the habit of taking my morning dose first thing, before my breakfast but, as I take other pills with my breakfast, maybe I will take the Flecainide then as well. Thanks for your advice.

Reply

If the pill is small you could try putting it into an empty capsule shell. You can buy these in various sizes on ebay and probably on Amazon. I find capsules easier to swallow than pills . Edit - Sorry I did not see the reply above with same advice!

Reply

I didn't know you could buy these empty shells - what a brilliant idea. I'll have a look. Thanks.

Reply

Have you tried maybe taking it in a spoon of fruit puree?

Reply

Thanks for your reply. I think I'm going to try taking it with my breakfast tomorrow.

Reply

I have persistent AFIB, cardioversion did not work (only for a few minutes), now scheduled for Ablation late December, on Eliquis, beta blockers....My EP has not suggested Flecainide....why do you take that....when Cardioversion or Ablation is not done or because neither worked. I'm 77 yrs. old, diagnosed year ago.

Reply

Thanks for your reply. I have had paroxysmal af for a few years and have been on Flecainide and Nebivolol for most of that time. One is for the rhythm, one is for the rate. I had an ablation in September this year, nearly ten weeks ago. I don't have any symptoms now but I have an implanted loop recorder and I have been informed that I have had several episodes of af since the ablation so I have to stay on my meds, including Rivaroxaban.

Reply

You may also like...