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Drug Guide    A   Amiodarone

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This medication is used to treat irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and to maintain a normal heart rate.

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 Amiodarone images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions

This medication is used to treat irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and to maintain a normal heart rate.
  • Do not share this medication with others.Your doctor may want you to check your pulse rate every day while you take this medication.
  • Learn how to monitor your pulse.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood pressure, pulse, EKG, chest X-rays, lung tests, liver tests, thyroid tests, eye exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.
  • Keep all laboratory and medical appointments.

  • Store at room temperature between 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

  • Symptoms of overdose may include weakness, severe dizziness, unusually slow heartbeat, or fainting.

How To Use
  • This medication is given by injection into a vein (IV) as directed by your doctor.Follow all instructions for proper mixing and dilution with the correct IV fluids.
  • If you have questions regarding the use of this medication, consult your pharmacist.Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration.
  • If either is present, do not use the liquid.Do not exceed the recommended rate of infusion.
  • Infusing amiodarone too fast may result in serious side effects such as severe lowering of the blood pressure.
  • Your dosage and infusion rate may be adjusted depending upon your medical condition and response to therapy.A chemical (DEHP) found in plastic IV tubing may harm young children (male reproductive system effects).
  • Amiodarone can cause this chemical to leach out of the tubing.
  • Therefore, caution is advised when using this drug in children.
  • Special administration guidelines should be followed (e.g., multiple bolus dosing) to minimize exposure to DEHP.
  • Consult the pharmacist for more information.Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Side Effects
  • Also see Warning section.Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness may occur.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.This drug, when used in combination with simvastatin, may infrequently cause muscle damage (which can rarely lead to a very serious condition called rhabdomyolysis).
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness).Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: severe dizziness, fainting, unusually slow/fast heartbeat, coldness, sweating, uncontrolled shaking/tremor, nervousness, unexplained weight change, sluggishness, lump/growth in the front of the neck (goiter), swelling of the hands or feet, return/worsening of irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes, vision changes (e.g., seeing halos, blurred vision, loss of vision), easy bruising/bleeding, persistent sore throat, change in amount of urine.This drug may cause skin reactions similar to a serious sunburn.
  • Infrequently with long-term amiodarone treatment, you may develop blue-gray discoloring of the skin, particularly of the face and hands.
  • This effect is not harmful and usually reverses, sometimes incompletely, after the drug is stopped.
  • Avoiding prolonged sun exposure may help to prevent this effect.
  • See also Precautions.In the unlikely event you have a serious allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Before taking amiodarone tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.
  • Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: cardiogenic shock, certain types of irregular heartbeats or heart rhythms (e.g., severe sinus node dysfunction resulting in marked sinus bradycardia, second or third degree atrioventricular block, bradycardia with associated syncope except when a pacemaker is used).Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, heart problems (e.g., congestive heart failure, low blood pressure), lung diseases, thyroid problems, upcoming major surgery, electrolyte problems such as low potassium or low magnesium.This drug may make you dizzy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages.This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure.
  • Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, including fast/slow/irregular heartbeat.A preservative (benzyl alcohol) which may be found in this product or in the liquid used to mix this product (diluent) can infrequently cause serious problems (sometimes death), if given in large amounts (more than 100 mg/kg daily) to an infant during the first months of life (neonatal period).
  • The risk is also greater with low birth weight infants.
  • Symptoms include sudden gasping, low blood pressure, or a very slow heartbeat.
  • Report these symptoms to the doctor immediately should they occur.
  • If possible, a preservative-free product should be used when treating neonates.This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the potential for harm to an unborn baby.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.Amiodarone passes into breast milk.
  • Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, contact the doctor immediately.
  • Do not increase the rate of infusion above the recommended rate to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: agalsidase beta, dofetilide, certain HIV protease inhibitors (nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir), quinupristin/dalfopristin.If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting amiodarone.Other drugs besides amiodarone which may affect the heart rhythm (QTc prolongation in the EKG) include antiarrhythmics (e.g., flecainide, disopyramide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol), macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin), pimozide, trazodone, loratadine, quinolone antibiotics (e.g., levofloxacin, sparfloxacin), and azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole) among others.
  • QTc prolongation can infrequently result in serious, rarely fatal, irregular heartbeats.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
  • Ask for instructions about whether you need to stop any other QTc-prolonging drugs you may be using in order to minimize the risk of this effect.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially of: local and general anesthesia, "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), cimetidine, clopidogrel, cyclosporine, digoxin, fentanyl, heart medications (e.g., diltiazem, verapamil, beta-blockers such as propranolol), other HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., amprenavir, indinavir), methotrexate, phenytoin, rifampin, "statins" (e.g., lovastatin, simvastatin), St.
  • John's wort.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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