Flecainide and different suppliers - AF Association

AF Association

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Flecainide and different suppliers

Tako2009 profile image

Hi lovely peeps- I have a couple of questions this evening which I hope you can help me with so am going to post them separately.

My first is about different suppliers of our meds - I seem to remember some comments on this forum about members experiencing problems when there was a change to the supplier/manufacturer of their medications. In my case I have been taking 50mg Flecainide twice daily plus 100mg as pip if the AF breaks through with no problems- it has kept the PAF mostly under control. Until recently these tablets were manufactured by Actavis.

In October last year I had some bad episodes of AF triggered by a flu virus and sickness bug. Shortly afterwards I noticed I had been dispensed Flecainide from a different supplier- Milpharm. Since then I have struggled with more frequent but less intense AF episodes plus frequent ectopics. Generally my heart has felt less settled

I thought at first that this was just AF progression and Of course I know this may be the case. However recently I found a strip of the old Actavis tablets and have been taking these - result = less ectopics and fewer AF episodes.

So now I am wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and whether you think it is worth raising this with pharmacist or EP when I see him next month?

Thanks for all the great advice!


15 Replies

I have been on Actavis Flec for 5 years now and still get it. I seem to recall somebody here talking about the different fillers different manufacturers use for the same drug, which can cause a problem no doubt just in a minority. Sorry can't shed any light on your experience but don't forget the Vagus Nerve provides a powerful link from the brain to the heart and could influence you when back to Actavis. Hope you are back to normal soon.

I insist on having only the Actavis brand. Other makes don't keep my heart in check and my GP stipulates that brand on my prescription.

There can often be a fuss about my pharmacy getting them. When that happens I call Actavis in Barnstaple and ask which suppliers have it in stock, tell my pharmacy and lo and behold they get it. Actavis have been taken over by another company, but still make the Actavis brand Flecainide. Don't let them palm you off with the new company's ones. It was probably me talking about different fillers used in pills. Fillers in some brands can affect me.


Thank you Jeanjeannie. Yes I think it was your post I saw. Thanks for replying Much appreciated I am going to speak to my local friendly pharmacist about this. Will also speak to my GP - not holding out much hope for help from him but I also have an appointment with the EP at Southampton general hospital next month so will raise it with him as well.

Over the past year I have made gradual diet and lifestyle changes following the good advice on this forum and felt immensely better with very few AF episodes so I would be bitterly disappointed if a change of Flecainide manufacturer undoes all of this. I am sure the GP will say it is just AF progression - which I accept it maybe - but it would be nice to rule this change out as a cause before making any other changes to my treatment.

Thanks again


secondtry profile image
secondtry in reply to Tako2009

That's the way to go Liz, insist on Actavis to rule the lack of it out of the AF equation - it's complicated enough without extras.

Satispati profile image
Satispati in reply to Tako2009

Remember that as tasteless as it is, many physicians are paid to stick with certain brands. It sounds like you need the brand that works for you & no other. Docs are not gods though they often consider themselves to be so - so don't let them push you around! Stick with what works! It's YOUR body!

Funnily enough I (or my Pharmacist) do exactly the same for my Pyridostigamine- which are also manufactured in Barnstable! Lime Pharmaceuticals?

Must be something in the air of NDevon😁

How strange for two tablet manufacturing companies to be in the same area! By the way, I love Barnstaple town centre.


My reply was intended to be to your earlier reply here, didn't want you to think I was being sarcastic about Barnstaple!

Thanks Jean, very useful to know.

My usual Losartan is in yellow boxes... last time it was pink boxes and yesterday I picked it up in purple boxes. I think it is a case of which Supplier is the cheapest when Boots order it.

Bee-Honest profile image
Bee-Honest in reply to Enjoy

Totally agree, my last Losartan box is a Yellow box. However I am on Atenalol and normally the tablet is round and orange, easy to identify, the last precription was a different manufacturer and the tablet is white and oval. I am still quite sharp, but find this misleading, but it must be so confusing for older people. I'm sure it is all down to cost.

I haven’t had that experience with Flec but have with other meds I take daily for another condition. A few years ago all the licensed manufacturers in the Uk stopped production at the same time leaving only the Branded version or parallel imports available - I noticed a very big difference in the efficacy of the drugs dependant upon manufacturer although all had the same quantity of active ingredient. I could only conclude that the fillers used to make the tablets varied and had an affect on absorption.

Don’t know if anyone else heard the news item about Pharmacists reporting that some pharmaceuticals becoming more difficult to obtain and more expensive to purchase. Mmmm........

I have had afib since 2006. Doc put me on toprol xl (metaprolol) and I would still have an episode about 5 times/year. Had bad episode in Sept 2015 and passed out causing bad cut on back of head. The following week the doc (a different cardio from first one) switched me to Flecainide 100 mg twice day. Have not had any AF episodes since then . My flecainide is through Optrum RX (United Health Care) and is manufactured by Amneal Pharmaceuticals in Bridgewater, NJ. Toprol xl is manufactured by Lannett (AstraZeneca). Anyway, I am very content with what I am taking since I have been AF episode free for over 3 years. Have not needed any ablation. Just meds to control.

I started off with a 50mg dose, 2X daily, but after 3 years or so had an afib attack. Doc upped dose to 100 mg and been without an event for 6 years now. Have u added Mg to your supplements?? They say a lack of Mg is a problem for MOST people. I take 250 mg a day. You might need a higher dose. Manufacturer shouldn’t make a difference.

I have the same issue with asthma inhalers (which fortunately, since the passing of my last cat some years ago, I now only need if I get a chest infection, or go to someone’s hairy doggy or catty house!), & insist on gsk Ventolin etc as the gas pressures & delivery systems of the non branded ones vary hugely & affect the efficacy.

I always check which brand will be dispensed with the pharmacist before handing the prescription over & just do a ‘pharmacy crawl’ until I get the branded ones. Guess I would do the same with Flecainide, as in your case.


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