Amiodarone may cause lung damage that can be serious or life-threatening. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of lung disease or if you have ever developed lung damage or breathing problems while taking amiodarone. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, other breathing problems, cough, or coughing or spitting up blood.
Amiodarone may also cause liver damage. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: nausea, vomiting, dark colored urine, excessive tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, itching, or pain in the upper right part of the stomach.
Amiodarone may cause your arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) to worsen or may cause you to develop new arrhythmias.Tell your doctor if you have ever been dizzy or lightheaded or have fainted because your heartbeat was too slow and if you have or have ever had low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood; heart or thyroid disease; or any problems with your heart rhythm other than the arrhythmia that is being treated. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medications: antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and itraconazole (Sporanox); azithromycin (Zithromax); beta blockers such as propranolol (Inderal); calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others) and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); cisapride (Propulsid); clarithromycin (Biaxin); diuretics ('water pills'); dofetilide (Tikosyn); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gatifloxacin (Tequin) (not available in the US), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin) (not available in the US), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and sparfloxacin (Zagam) (not available in the US); other medications for irregular heartbeat such as digoxin (Lanoxin), disopyramide (Norpace), flecainide (Tambocor), phenytoin (Dilantin), procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl), quinidine (Quinidex) and sotalol (Betapace); and thioridazine (Mellaril). If you have any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: lightheadedness; fainting; fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat; or feeling that your heart has skipped a beat.
You will probably be hospitalized for one week or longer when you begin your treatment with amiodarone. Your doctor will monitor you carefully during this time and for as long as you continue to take amiodarone. Your doctor will probably start you on a high dose of amiodarone and gradually decrease your dose as the medication begins to work. Your doctor may decrease your dose during your treatment if you develop side effects. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
Do not stop taking amiodarone without talking to your doctor. You may be hospitalized when you stop taking amiodarone. Amiodarone may remain in your body for some time after you stop taking it, so your doctor will watch you carefully during this time.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests, such as blood tests, X-rays, and electrocardiograms (EKGs, tests that record the electrical activity of the heart) before and during your treatment to be sure that it is safe for you to take amiodarone and to check your body's response to the medication.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with amiodarone and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also obtain the Medication Guide from the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking amiodarone.
Amiodarone is used to treat and prevent certain types of serious, life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias (a certain type of abnormal heart rhythm when other medications did not help or could not be tolerated. Amiodarone is in a class of medications called antiarrhythmics. It works by relaxing overactive heart muscles.
Amiodarone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day. Your doctor will tell you to take amiodarone with or without food; be sure to take it the same way each time.Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take amiodarone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Amiodarone is also sometimes used to treat other types of arrhythmias. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take amiodarone because it is not as safe or effective as other medication(s) that can be used to treat the same condition.
Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are taking this medication.
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
loss of appetite
decreased sex drive
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
changes in ability to taste and smell
changes in amount of saliva
weight loss or gain
intolerance to heat or cold
changes in menstrual cycle
swelling in the front of the neck (goiter)
swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
movements that you cannot control
poor coordination or trouble walking
numbness or tingling in the hands, legs, and feet
Amiodarone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Protect this medication from light. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 06/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2015. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.