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General Information
 
Uses
 
What should I know before taking this drug
 
Precautions
 
Dosage information
  
Adverse reactions
 
Storage
 

Brand names and manufacturer

Cordarone tab (Sanofi Aventis )
Duron inj (Samarth)
 
Amiodarone is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.
 
Amiodarone is pronounced as: A-mi-oh-da-rone
 
Amiodarone is an cardiovascular and  anti arrhythmic drug.
 
Amiodarone is used for treating life threatening heart rhythm disturbances like
  • Ventricular fibrillation  
  • Ventricular tachycardia and 
  • Management of other rhythm disturbances like Supraventricular arrhythmias associated with Wolf Parkinson white syndrome.
  • Amiodarone is available as injection and tablet. Your doctor will prescribe it depending on the severity of the condition.
  • Take amiodarone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Take oral dose of amiodarone with one glass of water at regular intervals to be effective.
  • Do not take amiodarone in larger amounts or for longer duration than recommended by your doctor. 
  • Do not skip doses or stop taking amiodarone without consulting your doctor. Stopping suddenly may worsen cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Amiodarone injection should be given under medical supervision with provision for cardiac monitoring.
  • Avoid eating grapes and drink grape juices when on amiodarone.
  • Amiodarone is known to interact with wide range of drugs. Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like,
    1. Warfarin ( anticoagulant)
    2. Other antiarrythmic drugs like Flecainide, procainamide, quinidine
    3. Diuretics like Amiloride, furosemide
    4. Antifungals like itraconazole
    5. Cimetidine (gastric medication)
    6. Anti HIV drugs (Ritonivir)
    7. Anti convulsants like phenytoin,
    8. Other antihypertensives like beta blockers, calcium channel blockers etc
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical diseases , as Amiodarone should be used cautiously in these conditions
    1. Family history of long QT interval or sudden cardiac death
    2. Thyroid disorders
    3. Lung diseases
    4. History of heart block
    5. Sinus node disease
    6. Liver disease
Do not use if you have sinoatrial 2nd degree, 3rd degree or severe heart block.
Do not use if you have slow or irregular heart beat or sever hypotension.
 

What are the precautions I should follow for amiodarone?

Children:

Old people:
Pregnant woman: amiodarone belongs to  FDA pregnancy category D. This means that amiodarone can harm an unborn baby and cause birth defects if used during pregnancy. Do not use amiodarone with out your doctor consent however its use is justified if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
 
Lactating women: amiodarone passes into breast milk and harm nursing baby. Do not use amiodarone with out the consent from your doctor if you are breastfeeding your child.
 
Other:
Always carry your identification card &Amiodarone medication card with you
 
Amiodarone is available as a solid dosage and intra venous injection.
 
Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
 
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.
 
If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.
 
In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.
 
The overdose symptoms of Amiodarone are
  1. Very slow Irregular heartbeat
  2. Extreme weakness
  3. Fainting
Amiodarone may cause following side effects 
  • Blue gray discoloration of the skin& nails
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Photosensitivity 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Metallic taste
  • Tremors 
  • Abnormal skin sensations
Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.
  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes. Peeling of skin etc
  • Visual disturbances like halo, decreases vision
  • Unexplained weight gain, chest pain
  • Increase in severity of tremors
  • Irregular heart rate, sweating, anxiety 
  • Breathing difficulty, cough
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin & eyes)
  • Enlarged thyroid gland
Store amiodarone at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.
 
  • Amiodarone causes dizziness when getting up from sitting or lying down position. Hence avoid alcohol and activities which requires you to be alert.
  • Amiodarone sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Avoid prolong exposure to sunlight or wear long sleeved clothing& use sunscreen when you go out in sun
  • Regular monitoring of ECG (electrocardiogram), pulmonary function, thyroid function, liver function and cell counts is required when on Amiodarone.
  • Visit your doctor regularly for monitoring your blood pressure, pulse rate and heart rhythm and eye examination when taking Amiodarone.
  • Amiodarone can cause side effects for a prolong time even after stopping the drug. Consult your doctor regularly for monitoring your progress.
  • Inform your surgeon or dentist prior to any procedure regarding Amiodarone medication
  • Amiodarone when used for prolong period causes bluish gray discoloration of skin which is harmless and subsides when the drug is stopped.
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise, healthy diet, quit smoking, alcohol to improve your overall health.

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last Updated: July 15, 2011

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