Generic Name: dronedarone, Oral tablet

Generic Name:

dronedarone, Oral tablet

Multaq

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  • Multaq
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for dronedarone

Oral tablet
1

Dronedarone is an oral drug used to treat atrial fibrillation in people who have had paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation. The condition causes an irregular heart rate. The drug should help your heart rate to return to normal (normal sinus rhythm).

2

The standard dosage of dronedarone is one 400-mg tablet taken twice per day with food.

3

Common side effects include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and weakness.

4

Don’t take dronedarone if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant or if you’re breastfeeding. This drug can harm your baby. Use an effective form of birth control while you take this medication.

5

Tell your doctor if you have any heart conditions such as heart failure or slow heartbeat, liver, or lung problems before you start dronedarone. If you develop liver disease, liver damage, or toxic side effects in your lungs, your doctor may tell you to stop taking dronedarone.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Stroke and heart failure warning: You shouldn’t use dronedarone if you have:

  • serious heart failure and have been in the hospital recently for this problem 
  • permanent atrial fibrillation
  • atrial fibrillation and you can’t go back to a normal heart rate, or you can’t have treatment to make your heart go back to a normal heart rate (cardioversion)

If you have these conditions, dronedarone may increase your risk of stroke or heart failure, which can be fatal. Talk with your doctor about your heart condition and ask if this drug can be used safely.

Heart, liver, and lung warning

Tell your doctor if you have any heart conditions such as heart failure or slow heartbeat, liver problems, or lung problems before you start dronedarone. If you develop liver disease, liver damage, or toxic side effects in your lungs, your doctor may tell you to stop taking dronedarone. Don’t stop this drug without talking to your doctor first. They’ll tell you when and how to stop taking the medication.

Low potassium and magnesium levels warning

This is more likely to happen if you’re taking a water pill or if you’re dehydrated. If you have low potassium or magnesium levels, you have a greater chance of abnormal heartbeat. The risk increases if you take this drug when you have abnormal levels. Potassium levels need to be in the normal range before you start this drug.

Drug Features

Dronedarone is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug may be used as part of combination therapy. While you are taking dronedarone, you may also need to take medicines to prevent a blood clot (antithrombotics).

Why It's Used

Dronedarone is used to treat irregular heart rate in paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation.

How It Works

Dronedarone belongs to a class of drugs called antiarrhythmics.

More Details

How It Works

Dronedarone belongs to a class of drugs called antiarrhythmics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Dronedarone works on the muscles of your heart to make your heartbeat normal.

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dronedarone Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with dronedarone include:

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • stomach pain

  • upset stomach

  • weakness and tiredness

  • skin problems, including redness, skin rash, and itching

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • heart failure. Symptoms may include:

    • trouble breathing
    • trouble sleeping
    • coughing up mucus
    • needing to use extra pillows at night to breathe more easily
    • gaining 5 or more pounds very fast
    • swelling of your feet or legs
  • liver problems. Symptoms may include:

    • fever
    • not feeling well
    • tiredness
    • itching
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • dark-colored urine
    • stomach pain
    • loss of appetite
    • nausea
    • diarrhea
  • slower than normal heart rate (bradycardia)

  • lung problems. Symptoms may include:

    • trouble breathing
    • dry cough
  • kidney problems. Symptoms may include:

    • being unable to pass urine
    • sudden weight gain
    • blood in your urine
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Dronedarone doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

dronedarone May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Dronedarone can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Food Interactions

Grapefruit or grapefruit juice may increase the amount of dronedarone in your body and may increase side effects. Don’t take it with grapefruit juice or grapefruit.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Drugs for abnormal heart rates (antiarrhythmics)

Examples are:

  • flecainide
  • amiodarone
  • quinidine
  • dofetilide
  • sotalol

Drugs that cause your heart rate to change shouldn’t be taken with dronedarone. These may increase the chance of a dangerous arrhythmia.

Digoxin

Dronedarone can increase the levels of digoxin in your body. Your doctor may need to decrease your dose of digoxin.

Calcium channel blockers

Examples are:

  • amlodipine
  • felodipine
  • isradipine
  • nicardipine
  • nifedipine
  • nimodipine
  • nitrendipine

The levels of dronedarone and calcium channel blockers can increase when they are taken together. Your doctor may need lower the dose of your calcium channel blocker to avoid bad effects on your heart.

Beta blockers

Examples are:

  • acebutolol (Sectral)
  • atenolol (Tenormin)
  • bisoprolol (Zebeta)
  • carteolol (Cartrol)
  • esmolol (Brevibloc)
  • metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • nadolol (Corgard)
  • nebivolol (Bystolic)
  • propranolol (Ineral LA)

Beta blockers can cause a very low heart rate when taken with dronedarone. Your doctor may need to change your dose of beta blocker to avoid this side effect.

Cholesterol medications (statins)

Examples are:

  • atorvastatin
  • lovastatin
  • simvastatin

Dronedarone can increase the effects of statins on your body. This can lead to muscle problems (myopathy).

Blood thinner medication
  • warfarin

Dronedarone can increase levels of warfarin in your body. This can cause your blood to become thinner than normal. Your doctor may need to change your dose of warfarin.

Medicines to treat irregular heart rate
  • Class I antiarrhythmics
    • flecainide
    • propafenone
  • Class III antiarrhythmics
    • amiodarone
    • dofetilide
    • sotalol

Taking these medicines with dronedarone can slow your heart rate or cause the irregular heartbeat Torsades de Pointes. This can be fatal. Don’t take these drugs with dronedarone.

Macrolide antibiotics
  • azythromycin
  • erythromycin 

Taking these medicines with dronedarone can slow your heart rate or cause the irregular heartbeat Torsades de Pointes. This can be fatal. Don’t take these drugs with dronedarone.

Medicines to treat depression, mood disorders, or schizophrenia
  • certain phenothiazines
    • chlorpromazine
    • prochlorperazine
    • thioridazine
    • trifluoperazine
  • tricyclic antidepressants
    • amitriptyline (Elavil)
    • amoxapine (Asendin)
    • clomipramine (Anafranil)
    • desipramine (Norpramin)
    • doxepin (Sinequan)
    • imipramine (Tofranil)
    • maprotiline (Ludiomil)
    • nortriptyline (Pamelor)
    • protriptyline (Vivactil)
    • trimipramine (Surmontil)

Medicines to treat infections
  • rifampin
  • ketoconazole
  • itraconazole
  • voriconazole
  • telithromycin
  • clarithromycin
  • ritonavir

These drugs can decrease the levels of dronedarone in your blood. This means that it won’t work as well. Don’t take these medicines with dronedarone.

Medicines to treat seizures
  • phenobarbital
  • carbamazepine
  • phenytoin

This drug can decrease the levels of dronedarone in your blood. This means that it won’t work as well. Don’t take these medicines with dronedarone.

Herbal products
  • St. John’s wort

This herb can decrease the levels of dronedarone in your blood. This means that it won’t work as well. Don’t take St. John’s wort with dronedarone.

Medicines used after you have had a transplant
  • sirolimus
  • tacrolimus

Dronedarone can increase blood levels of these medicines. This can cause side effects. Your doctor will check your blood levels of your transplant medicines and change the doses if needed.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with certain heart conditions

Don’t use this drug if you have a permanent atrial fibrillation or atrial fibrillation that can’t be changed to normal sinus rhythm. This drug could increase your risk of stroke or heart failure, which could be fatal. Ask your doctor if dronedarone is safe for you.

Don’t use this drug if you have serious heart failure or if you’ve had to go to the hospital lately for your heart failure. Dronedarone can increase your risk of dying from heart failure.

Don’t use dronedarone if your heart isn’t working properly

Don’t use dronedarone if your heart rate is less than 50 beats per minute. Dronedarone can slow it down even more, which can be fatal.

People with amiodarone-related problems

Don’t use dronedarone if you’ve had liver or lung problems when taking amiodarone. Dronedarone can make your liver and lung function worse.

People with liver problems

Don’t take dronedarone if you have a history of liver problems. Dronedarone is processed in the liver and can worsen your liver function.

Pregnant women

Dronedarone is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.

This drug may cause birth defects.

Tell your doctor If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Women who are nursing

It isn’t known if dronedarone passes through breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take dronedarone or breastfeed.

For Children

The safety and effectiveness of dronedarone haven’t been established in people younger than 18 years old.

Contact with drug

Don’t share dronedarone with others, even if they have the same medical problem. It can harm them.

Allergies

Dronedarone can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take dronedarone (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Atrial fibrillation
Form: Oral Tablet
Strengths: 400 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

The standard dose is 400 mg taken twice per day.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

The safety and effectiveness of dronedarone haven’t been established in people younger than 18 years old.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Dronedarone comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If You Don’t Take It at All or If You Skip or Miss Doses

Dronedarone is used to treat a chronic condition. There is no cure for this disorder, but taking dronedarone will help you feel better. It’s important to continue taking your medication as directed by your doctor, even if you feel better. Doing so will give you the best chance of improving your quality of life.

If You Take Too Much

If you take too much, call your doctor and go to the emergency room right way.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next scheduled dose.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if your symptoms get better. Dronedarone should reduce your heart rate and symptoms of weakness, dizziness, tiredness, and lightheadedness. Talk to your doctor to see if this medication is working for you.

Dronedarone is a long-term drug treatment.

Important Considerations for Taking Dronedarone
take with food Take this medication with food
timing Take one tablet in the morning with food and one tablet in the evening with food
do not crush Don’t cut or crush the tablet
storage Store dronedarone at room temperature See Details
Prescription is refillable
travel Travel See Details
clinical monitoring Clinical Monitoring See Details
prior authorization Insurance See Details

Store dronedarone at room temperature

Keep it in temperatures from 59–86°F (15--30°C). 

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

During treatment with dronedarone, your doctor will monitor your:

  • heart function and heart rate. Your heart rate will be checked with a test called an electrocardiogram at least every 3 months.
  • liver function. These tests may be done more often the first 6 months that you’re taking dronedarone.
  • potassium and magnesium levels
  • kidney function
  • lung function

Your doctor will do these tests to check for side effects and to make sure that dronedarone isn’t harming your body.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for dronedarone.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does dronedarone Cost?

Oral tablet
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Lowest price for dronedarone

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on June 30, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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