Amiodaron - Use | Dose | Side Effects
This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.
Amiodaron (also known as Amiodarone) belongs to an antiarrhythmic group of medicines (medicines used to treat irregular heart beat).
It is a highly effective treatment for the elimination of supraventricular tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), but also can be used in the treatment of life-threatening ventricular tachycardia. It works by slowing down the heart rate.
It should not be used in patients allergic to Amiodaron or other similar medicines. If you experience symptoms of an allergy (hives, itching, swelling, trouble breathing), contact your doctor immediately.
It cannot be used in patients with bradycardia (slow heart rate) as well as in the patients with AV block (atrioventricular block). It can further slow down the heart rate and cause heart failure in these patients.
This medicine cannot be used in patients with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), because this drug contains iodine and therefore may change the function of the thyroid gland.
It should not be used concomitant with a number of medications, so it is very important to inform your doctor about all medications and herbal medicines you are taking.
This medicine cannot be used in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Before you start using Amiodaron, you may need an ECG test to determine the type of arrhythmia you have. It is not used to treat all types of arrhythmia. Amidaraon is used to treat only supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia (rapid heartbeat).
Amiodaron can be used only with great caution in patients with respiratory disorders because this drug may cause lung toxicity.
It can be used only with great caution in patients with liver disorders. Monitoring of liver function is necessary while using this medicine.
Keep in mind that it may cause eye problems and vision disturbances. If you experience any eye changes contact your doctor immediately.
Amiodaron may cause photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to sunlight), therefore it is recommended to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight while taking this drug.
If you are planning surgery, inform your doctor that you are using this medicament.
Use of Amidaron during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Amiodarone can be used during pregnancy only if the benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the child.
It is not recommended for use in pregnancy of gestational age more than 14 weeks (14th week: thyroid gland of the fetus starts to develop), because after 14th week, it may cause side effects on the thyroid gland of the fetus!
Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using during pregnancy.
Avoid breastfeeding your baby while taking Amiodaron. This medicament passes into breast milk and may harm your baby. Instead of breastfeeding your baby, you can give your baby formula milk.
How to use
Amiodaron dose depends on the severity of the condition.
The usual initial dose is 200 mg, three times a day (every 8 hours), for 7-10 days.
Usual maintenance dose is 100-300 mg per day. The dose should be determined by your doctor!
Use with other medicines (Interactions)
It cannot be used concomitant with the following medicines:
- Other anti-arrhythmic medications such as:
- ibutilide and others. The concomitant use of these medicines with It may lead to the life-threatening arrhythmias (so called torsades de pointes) that may have fatal outcome!
- Cisapride, used to treat stomach disorders. Concomitant use of this medication with Amiodaron may also lead to the torsades de pointes.
- Erythromycin, used in the treatment of bacterial infections. Concomitant use of erythromycin with Amiodaron, may lead to the torsades de pointes!
- If you are using medicines to treat heart disorders, so-called beta blockers such as:
- labetalol and others. The concomitant use of these medicines with Amiodaron can slow down the heart rate and lead to the cardiac arrest!
- If you are using medicines called calcium channel blockers such as:
- diltiazem. The concomitant use of these medicines with Amiodaron, increases the risk of cardiac arrest.
- Medicines used in the treatment of high blood cholesterol, so-called statins such as:
- simvastatin (Cholipam),
- fluvastatin and others. Concomitant use of Amiodaron with these medicines increases the risk of side effects (rhabdomyolysis-serious destruction of muscle).
- Blood thinners, such as:
- warfarin (Farin),
- acenocoumarol (Sinkum 4, SIntrom),
- nadroparin (Fraxiparine) and others. Concomitant use of Amiodaron with these medicines increases the risk of bleeding.
Amiodarone can cause the following side effects:
- taste changes,
- vision disturbances,
- photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to sunlight),
- alopecia (hair loss),
- thyroid gland disorders (because Amiodaron contains iodine),
- lung damage (cough, shortness of breath due to narrowing of the bronchi, fatigue),
- muscle destruction,
- liver damage (loss of appetite, dark urine, yellowing of the skin and eyes - jaundice),
- low platelet count (thrombocytopenia),
- corneal lipid deposits under the eye (occurs very frequently in almost all patients),
- allergy and others.
Tell your doctor if you experience any of abovementioned side effects.
Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.