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Amiodarone is used to treat some types of dangerous and serious arrhythmias, such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. Treatment with amiodarone is a further step if other antiarrhythmic drugs do not have an effect on the patient. 

Amiodarone belongs to class IIIa antiarrhythmic drugs. This drug works by blocking the electrical signals that cause abnormal heart rate. That way, the heart rhythm can be regular again.

Amiodarone trademarks: Amiodarone HCL, Cordarone, Kendaron, Tiaryt

What is Amiodarone

group Prescription drugs
Category Antiarrhythmic
Benefit Overcoming heart rhythm disorders
Used by Adults and children
Amiodarone for pregnant and lactating women Category D: There is positive evidence of a risk to the human fetus, but the benefits may outweigh the risks, for example in dealing with life-threatening situations.

Amiodarone can be absorbed into breast milk, should not be used during breastfeeding.

Drug form Tablets and injections

Precautions Before Using Amiodarone

Amiodarone should only be used according to a doctor's prescription. Here are some things you need to pay attention to before using amiodarone:

  • Tell your doctor about any allergies you have. Amiodarone should not be used in patients who are allergic to this drug or to iodine.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had heart failure or another dangerous heart rhythm disorder, such as bradycardia or AV block. Amiodarone should not be given to patients who are suffering from this condition.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had asthma , lung disease, thyroid disease, liver disease, hypertension , hypotension, or electrolyte disturbances .
  • Tell your doctor if you are using a pacemaker .
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Perform regular check-ups according to the schedule given by the doctor during treatment with amiodarone. You may be asked to do a heart record , liver function tests, or electrolyte levels periodically.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • Avoid being in direct sunlight for a long time while undergoing treatment with amiodarone, because this drug can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight (photosensitive).
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness while you are taking amiodarone, as this medicine can cause dizziness.
  • If you are planning to have surgery or certain medical procedures, tell your doctor that you are taking amiodarone.
  • See your doctor right away if you have an allergic drug reaction, serious side effect, or overdose after using amiodarone.

Dosage and Rules for Use of Amiodarone

The dose of amiodarone given by the doctor depends on the patient's health condition and the dosage form of the drug. Here is the explanation:

Condition: Ventricular or supraventricular arrhythmias

  • Form: Tablets
    Adult: Initially 200 mg, 3 times daily, for 1 week. The dose can then be reduced to 200 mg, 2 times a day. Maintenance dose 200 mg per day, depending on the patient's response.
  • Form: Injection
    Adult: Initial dose 5 mg/kgBW, by infusion, for 20–120 minutes. The dose may be repeated up to 1,200 mg per day. For emergency cases, the dose is 150–300 mg by slow injection, over 3 minutes, the dose may be repeated at least 15 minutes after the first dose.

Condition: Pulseless ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT)

  • Form:
    Adult Injection : Initial dose of 300 mg or 5 mg/kgBW by rapid injection. Continued dose 150 mg or 2.5 mg/kg if condition persists.

Dosage for children will be determined directly by the doctor based on the patient's weight and age.

How to Use Amiodarone Correctly

Follow the doctor 's advice or read the information on the medicine package before using amiodarone. Do not increase or decrease the dose without consulting your doctor first.

Amiodarone tablets can be taken before or after meals. However, if you have indigestion, take it with food.

Injectable amiodarone will be given directly by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.

If you forget to take amiodarone, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double your dose of amiodarone to make up for a missed dose, unless directed by your doctor.

Store amiodarone at room temperature and in a closed container, so that it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Keep out of reach of children.

Amiodarone Interactions with Other Drugs

There are several effects of drug interactions that may occur if amiodarone is used with certain drugs, including:

  • Increased risk of developing dangerous heart rhythm disturbances, such as QT prolongation, when used with furosemide , adenosine, amitriptyline, amphotericin B , amoxapine, astemizole , chloroquine, antipsychotic drugs , lithium, quinine , trichloroacetic acid, halofantrine, or terfenadine
  • Increases risk of sunburn when used with aminolevulinic acid
  • Lowers amiodarone levels and decreases its effectiveness when used with carbamazepine or dexamethasone
  • Increases blood levels of ciclosporin , clonazepam, digoxin , phenytoin, procainamide , simvastatin, colchicine , or warfarin
  • Increases risk of bradycardia when used with beta-blocking drugs , other antiarrhythmics, or calcium antagonists

Side Effects and Dangers of Amiodarone

Some of the side effects that can occur after using amiodarone are:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizzy
  • Lost appetite
  • Unusual shaking or tiredness
  • Fever
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Blurred vision
  • Indigestion

Check with a doctor if the complaints mentioned above do not go away or get worse. Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to your medication or experience more serious side effects, such as:

  • Cough or pain when breathing
  • Very heavy dizziness, even to the point of fainting
  • Tingling or numbness in the toes or fingers
  • High fever
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Skin is more sensitive to sunlight
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