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AMIODARONE is an antiarrhythmic drug. It helps make your heart beat regularly. Because of the side effects caused by this medicine, it is only used when other medicines have not worked. Compare antiarrhythmics.
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Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Cordarone IV

Therapeutic ClassificationsAntiarrhythmic, Group III

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OverviewTOP

Amiodarone injection is used to correct life-threatening heart rhythm problems called ventricular arrhythmias. This medicine is used in patients who have already been treated with other medicines that did not work.

Amiodarone injection belongs to the group of medicines known as antiarrhythmics. It works directly on the heart tissue and will slow the nerve impulses in the heart. This helps keep the heart rhythm normal.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Proper UseTOP

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Your doctor will give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

AllergiesTOP

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

PediatricTOP

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of amiodarone injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

GeriatricTOP

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of amiodarone injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving amiodarone injection.

Breast FeedingTOP

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • AV block (type of abnormal heart rhythm), with no pacemaker or
  • Bradycardia (slow heartbeat) or
  • Cardiogenic shock or
  • Sick sinus syndrome (type of abnormal heart rhythm), with no pacemaker—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.

PrecautionsTOP

It is very important that your doctor check your progress while you receive this medicine to make sure that it is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. These symptoms are more likely to occur when you begin using this medicine, or when the dose is increased.

Liver problems may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: abdominal pain or tenderness; clay-colored stools; dark urine; decreased appetite; fever; headache; itching; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; skin rash; swelling of the feet or lower legs; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin.

This medicine can cause changes in your heart rhythm, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.

Tell your doctor right away if you are having shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, or any type of breathing problem while being treated with this medicine.

Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Grapefruits and grapefruit juice may increase the side effects from amiodarone injection by increasing the amount of this medicine in your body. You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (e.g., St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

Chemical ClassificationsTOP

Benzofuran
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