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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Amiodarone
Amiodarone
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(a MEE oh da rone)

Brand Names
Cordarone®; Pacerone®

Foreign Brand Names
Braxan (Mexico); Cardiorona (Mexico)

Therapeutic Categories
Antiarrhythmic Agent, Class III

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

  • This medicine is intended only for treatment of life-threatening, abnormal heartbeats. It can cause dangerous side effects. Some patients have died from them. Amiodarone can cause a lung problem that can be serious and life-threatening. Liver injury can also occur. It can even worsen the abnormal heartbeat being treated. You should be placed in the hospital to get started on this medicine.


Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to amiodarone or any other part of the medicine.
  • If you have a slow heart rate without a working pacemaker.
  • If you are taking any of these medicines: Cisapride, ritonavir, sparfloxacin, or moxifloxacin.
  • If you are pregnant.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine treats a variety of types of rapid heartbeats called arrhythmias.


How does it work?

  • Amiodarone decreases the effects of chemicals on the heart. It prevents these chemicals from exciting the heart. The heart slows down and the arrhythmia may be prevented, but not cured.


How is it best taken?

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if this medicine causes an upset stomach. Always take with food or always take without food. Be consistent.
  • Do not take cholestyramine or colestipol with this medicine.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.
  • Do not use this medicine with sparfloxacin, grepafloxacin, quinidine, or ritonavir. Could cause serious side effects.
  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other healthcare providers about this medicine.
  • You can get sunburned more easily. Avoid lots of sun. Use sunscreen; wear protective clothing and eyewear.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Do not use in pregnancy and do not get pregnant. Use birth control that you can trust while using this medicine and for some time after it is stopped. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Do not use if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Feeling tired or lightheaded. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Constipation. More liquids, regular exercise, or a fiber-containing diet may help. Talk with healthcare provider about a stool softener or laxative.
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in hands and feet.


What should I monitor?

  • Check blood work. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Follow up with healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Dry cough or shortness of breath. This medicine can cause permanent lung damage.
  • Nausea, vomiting, belly pain, feeling tired, dark urine, yellow eyes/skin, not hungry.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight, light-resistant container at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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