AMIODARONE - a patient's guide
This medicine is used for the treatment of heart arrhythmias (irregularities), in particular when other medicines have been unsuccessful. It is known as a Class III agent, where it has broad anti-arrhythmic activity and works through prolonging the duration of electrical activity in the heart. This effect basically slows down the heart providing normal rhythm back to your heartbeat.
Amiodarone has a long half life, therefore it is usually given once daily. It is also often initiated in hospital or under specialist supervision partly due to its complexity.
- Thyroid disease
- Liver and kidney impairment
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Severe heart failure
Metallic taste, liver and lung problems (needs monitoring), hyper/hypothyroidism, neuropathy, corneal (eye) deposits, skin discolouration (bluish), photosensitivity have been reported. Other cases reported include nausea, skin rash, vomiting and fatigue.
Digoxin, warfarin, beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers should be used with caution in combination with amiodarone.
- Follow the instructions on the label of this medicine
- Do not stop taking this medicine unless directed by your doctor/specialist
- Avoid excess exposure to direct sunlight and sun lamps (use broad-spectrum +15 sunblock)
- You may require liver and thyroid function tests (approx. every 6 months) so discuss with doctor/specialist
- Contact your doctor/ specialist or seek medical attention if side effects are severe or ongoing.