Why is this medication prescribed?
Amiodarone is used to treat and prevent arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Amiodarone is in a class of medications called antiarrhythmics. It works by relaxing an overactive heart.
How should this medicine be used?
Amiodarone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once or twice a day. 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 controls arrhythmias but does not cure them. Continue to take amiodarone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking amiodarone without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication should not be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking amiodarone,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to amiodarone or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), other antiarrhythmic drugs such as quinidine (Quinaglute) or procainamide (Pronestyl), and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had thyroid disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking amiodarone, call your doctor immediately.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking amiodarone.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Amiodarone may make your skin sensitive to sunlight; exposed skin may turn blue-gray.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from amiodarone are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- excessive tiredness
- tremor and involuntary movements
- poor coordination
- upset stomach
- loss of appetite
- light sensitivity
- dry eyes
- skin sensitivity
If you experience any of the following symptoms, or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath, especially with exercise
- rapid or irregular heartbeat
- decreased vision or changes in your ability to see
- tingling in the hands and feet
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
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). 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 emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Amiodarone can cause visual impairment. You will need to have regular eye examinations while taking amiodarone.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.