Drugs A - Z
Amiodarone Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Generic Name: amiodarone | Brand Name: Cordarone
What is this medicine?AMIODARONE (a MEE oh da rone) 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. It is usually used for heartbeat problems that may be life threatening.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- liver disease
- lung disease
- other heart problems
- thyroid disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to amiodarone, iodine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medicine with or without food. However, you should always take it the same way each time. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- arsenic trioxide
- certain macrolide antibiotics
- certain quinolone antibiotics
- medicines for malaria like chloroquine and halofantrine
- medicines for mental depression such as tricyclic antidepressants
- medicines to control heart rhythm like disopyramide, dofetilide, ibutilide, propafenone, and sotalol
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, and thioridazine
- red yeast rice
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- beta blockers
- calcium channel blockers
- general anesthetics
- grapefruit juice
- medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, fluconazole, and itraconazole
- medicines for HIV, AIDS
- medicines for seizures such as phenytoin
- medicines for thyroid problems
- medicines to lower cholesterol such as atorvastatin, cerivastatin, lovastatin, or simvastatin
- rifampin, rifabutin, or rifapentine
- St. John's Wort
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Your condition will be monitored closely when you first begin therapy. Often, this drug is first started in a hospital or other monitored health care setting. Once you are on maintenance therapy, visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because your condition and use of this medicine carry some risk, it is a good idea to carry an identification card, necklace or bracelet with details of your condition, medications, and doctor or health care professional.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
You should have regular eye exams before and during treatment. Call your doctor if you have blurred vision, see halos, or your eyes become sensitive to light. Your eyes may get dry. It may be helpful to use a lubricating eye solution or artificial tears solution.
If you are going to have surgery or a procedure that requires contrast dyes, tell your doctor or health care professional that you are taking this medicine.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- blue-gray coloring of the skin
- blurred vision, seeing blue green halos, increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
- breathing problems
- chest pain
- dark urine
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- feeling faint or light-headed
- intolerance to heat or cold
- nausea or vomiting
- pain and swelling of the scrotum
- pain, tingling, numbness in feet, hands
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- spitting up blood
- stomach pain
- unusual or uncontrolled movements of body
- unusually weak or tired
- weight gain or loss
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- change in sex drive or performance
- loss of appetite
- trouble sleeping
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.