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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Antiarrhythmic


    Prevents and treats life-threatening heartbeat irregularities involving both the large chambers of the heart (auricles and ventricles).

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Tablets--Swallow whole with liquid or food to lessen stomach irritation. If you can't swallow whole, crumble tablet and take with liquid or food.

When to take:
According to prescription instructions.

If you forget a dose:
Skip this dose and resume regular schedule. Do not double the next dose. If you forget 2 doses or more, consult your doctor.

What drug does:
Slows nerve impulses in the heart.
Makes heart muscle fibers less responsive to abnormal electrical impulses arising in the electrical regulatory system of the heart.

Time lapse before drug works:
2 to 3 days to 2 to 3 months.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, seizures.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • If patient is unconscious and not breathing, give mouth-to-mouth breathing. If there is no heartbeat, use cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing (CPR). Don't try to make patient vomit. If you can't get help quickly, take patient to nearest emergency facility.
  • See EMERGENCY information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    Shortness of breath, Discontinue. Seek emergency treatment. difficulty breathing, cough.


  • Walking difficulty, fever, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, shakiness, weak- ness in arms and legs.
  • Constipation, headache, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting.


  • Skin color change to blue-gray, blurred vision, cold feeling, dry eyes, nervousness, scrotum swelling or pain, insomnia, swollen feet and ankles, fast or slow heartbeat, eyes hurt in light, weight gain or loss, sweating.
  • Bitter or metallic taste, diminished sex drive, dizziness, flushed face, coldness and unusual tiredness.


    Jaundice, skin rash.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to amiodarone.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have liver, kidney or thyroid disease.
  • If you have heart disease other than coronary artery disease.

Over age 60:

  • Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons. Ask about smaller doses.
  • Pain in legs (while walking) considerably more likely.

Safety to unborn child unestablished. Thyroid abnormalities possible in fetus. Avoid if possible.

Drug passes into milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing until you finish medicine. Consult doctor for advice on maintaining milk supply.

Infants & children:
Safety not established. Use only under close medical supervision.

Prolonged use:

  • Blue-gray discoloration of skin may appear.
  • Don't discontinue without consulting doctor. Dose may require gradual reduction if you have taken drug for a long time. Doses of other drugs may also require adjustment.
  • Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check ECG*, SGPT*, serum alkaline phosphatase, SGOT*, thyroid function.

Skin & sunlight:
May cause rash or intensify sunburn in areas exposed to sun or sunlamp. Avoid undue exposure, use sunscreens.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Avoid if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Otherwise, no problems expected.


  • Don't discontinue without consulting doctor. Dose may require gradual reduction if you have taken drug for a long time. Doses of other drugs may also require adjustment.
  • Notify doctor if cough, fever, breathing difficulty or shortness of breath occur after discontinuing medicine.


  • Learn to check your own pulse. If it drops to lower than 50 or rises to higher than 100 beats per minute, don't take amiodarone until you consult your doctor.
  • May interfere with the accuracy of some medical tests.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------- -----------------------
Antiarrhythmics, other* Increased likelihood of heartbeat
Anticoagulants* Increased anticoagulant effect.
Beta-adrenergic Increased likelihood of slow
blockers* heartbeat.
Calcium channel Possible heart block.
Cholestyramine May decrease amiodarone blood levels.
Digitalis Increased digitalis effect.
Diltiazam Increased likelihood of slow heartbeat.
Diuretics* Increased risk of heartbeat irregularity
due to low potassium level.
Encainide Increased effect of toxicity on the
heart muscle.
Flecainide Increased flecainide effect.
Isoniazid Increased risk of liver damage.
Nicardipine Possible increased effect and toxicity
of each drug.
Nifedipine Increased likelihood of slow heartbeat.
Phenytoin Increased effect of phenytoin.
Procainamide Increased procainamide effect.
Propafenone Increased effect of both drugs and
increased risk of toxicity.
Quinidine Increased quinidine effect.
Verapamil Increased likelihood of slow heartbeat.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Increased risk of heartbeat
irregularity. Avoid.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: Increased risk of heartbeat
irregularity. Avoid.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: Possible irregular heartbeat. Avoid.
Tobacco: Possible irregular heartbeat. Avoid.

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