Propafenone is a medication used to treat schizophrenia. It works by reducing the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine plays a role in mental processes such as learning, motivation, pleasure seeking and decision making. When there are too many dopamine receptors open, schizophrenics experience hallucinations and delusions. If the drug is taken regularly enough it reduces psychotic symptoms sufficiently so that patients don’t need antipsychotic medications anymore.
The drug was developed in the 1970’s and became available commercially in 1999. There are two main forms of propafenone: Propylhexedrine (Phenylethylene) and Hydroxyzine (Hydroxypethidine). Pervasive use of these drugs has led to the development of tolerance, addiction, abuse and misuse.
In 2012, the FDA issued warnings about propafenone tablets being misbranded as amphetamines. These warnings were based on reports from users who had taken the pills with the intention of becoming “stoned” or otherwise abusing them.
There have been several cases where individuals taking propafenone tablets have died after consuming large amounts of alcohol. In some instances, propafenone tablets were mixed with other substances such as cocaine and heroin to produce a deadly combination.
Many people who take propafenone tablets have no intention of becoming addicted to them. They simply want to reduce their symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions, so they can lead a normal life. However, these drugs should only be used under the guidance of a physician who can monitor their effects, because addiction is always a possibility.
Drugs of this type may also cause the following side effects:
Sources & references used in this article:
Investigations on the pharmacokinetics of propafenone in man. by M Hollmann, E Brode, D Hotz, S Kaumeier… – Arzneimittel …, 1983 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Conversion of recent-onset atrial fibrillation by a single oral loading dose of propafenone or flecainide by A Capucci, G Boriani, GL Botto, T Lenzi, I Rubino… – The American journal of …, 1994 – Elsevier
Clinical pharmacology of propafenone: pharmacokinetics, metabolism and concentration-response relations by LA Siddoway, DM Roden, RL Woosley – The American Journal of …, 1984 – Elsevier