Amiodarone HCL - Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More

Amiodarone HCL – Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More

Amiodarone HCL – Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More

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This drug is prescribed to patients who have been diagnosed with a specific form of severe and potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder (such as persistent ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia). It is used to bring the heart rhythm back to normal and to maintain a regular and steady beat for the heart. A medication that can prevent abnormal heart rhythms is called amiodarone. It achieves this by interrupting specific electrical signals in the heart that, when left untreated, can lead to an irregular heartbeat.

Amiodarone Hydrochloride: Directions for Use

Before beginning treatment with amiodarone and whenever you get a refill for your prescription, make sure you carefully read the Medication Guide issued by your pharmacist. Talk to your primary care physician or pharmacist if you have any concerns or questions.

This drug should be taken by mouth, and the recommended dosage should be taken once or twice a day, or as advised by your doctor. You have the option of taking this medication with or without meals; however, it is imperative that you choose one method and adhere to it with each and every dose of this medication.

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While you are taking this medicine, you should avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice unless specifically instructed to do so by your doctor. It’s possible that eating grapefruit will make your blood concentration of this drug higher. For further information, please speak with either your physician or pharmacist.

Your current health status and how well you respond to treatment will determine the appropriate dosage. It is possible that your physician will instruct you to begin treatment with this medicine at a higher dose and then progressively reduce that amount. Be sure to pay close attention to the directions that your doctor gives you. You should not stop taking this medicine or alter the dosage without first speaking with your primary care physician.

If your situation does not improve or if it gets worse, you should let your doctor know.

Side Effects

There is a possibility that you will have shaking, nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, and weariness. Notify your doctor as soon as possible if any of these side effects continue or become worse.

Keep in mind that the reason your doctor has recommended that you take this medication is that he or she believes that the potential benefits to you outweigh the potential risks of doing so. The majority of persons who take this medicine do not report experiencing any severe adverse effects.

Notify your physician as soon as possible if you experience any serious side effects, such as easy bruising or bleeding, loss of coordination, tingling or numbness of the hands or feet, uncontrolled movements, new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles or feet, unusual tiredness, unusual or sudden weight gain).

In the event that you experience any very serious adverse effects, such as a quicker, slower, or more irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, or fainting, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Amiodarone has been linked, albeit rarely, to a variety of thyroid issues. There is a possibility of either underactive or hyperactive thyroid function taking place. If you develop any symptoms of low or overactive thyroid, including intolerance to cold or heat, unexplained weight loss or gain, thinning hair, unusual sweating, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, or a lump or growth in the front of the neck, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible (goitre).

It is possible that this medication will make your skin more sensitive to the sun. It is possible, albeit unlikely, that you will develop a bluish-grey tint of the skin after receiving long-term treatment. This effect is not hazardous, and after treatment with the medicine is discontinued, the colour may revert to normal. Reduce the amount of time you spend in the sun to help protect your skin. Stay away from tanning beds and indoor sunlamps. When you go outside, make sure to put on sunscreen and protective gear. If you acquire a sunburn or see any blisters or redness on your skin, make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.

Rarely, this medication has been known to induce changes in vision. Extremely infrequent occurrences of blindness that are permanent have been reported. Notify your primary care physician as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your vision (such as seeing halos or blurred vision).

It is quite unusual for this medicine to cause an extremely severe allergic reaction. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you detect any symptoms of a significant allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), extreme dizziness, or difficulty breathing. These symptoms may indicate anaphylaxis.

This list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive in any way. Please consult your physician or pharmacist if you have any side effects that are not listed above.

In the United States, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit their website at to report any adverse effects.

In Canada, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 to report any adverse effects you experience.


If you have any allergies, including those to amiodarone, iodine, or any other substances, you should discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist before beginning treatment with amiodarone. There is a possibility that this product contains inactive substances, which, if present, could result in allergic responses or other complications. Discuss the matter further with your pharmacist for further information.

Before beginning treatment with this drug, it is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of liver illness, lung disease, or thyroid difficulties.

This medication could cause you to feel lightheaded. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you dizzier. Do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle, operate any machinery, or engage in any activity that requires attentiveness until you are able to do it safely. Reduce your intake of alcoholic beverages. If you are a marijuana user, you should consult your primary care physician (cannabis).

Inform your surgeon and your dentist about any and all medications and supplements you use before undergoing any kind of procedure (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

There is a possibility that amiodarone will create a condition that disrupts the normal rhythm of the heart (QT prolongation). Rarely, a QT prolongation can produce a dangerous (and in extremely rare cases, fatal) fast or irregular heartbeat, in addition to other symptoms (such as severe dizziness and fainting) that require immediate medical attention.

If you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that can cause QT prolongation, your risk of developing the condition may be enhanced. Inform your doctor or pharmacist of all the medications you are currently taking, as well as if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), a family history of certain heart problems, and so on before beginning treatment with amiodarone (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

Your chance of having your QT interval becomes prolonged may also be increased if your blood potassium or magnesium levels are low. This risk may be increased if you use certain medications (such as diuretics or “water pills”) or if you have conditions like as intense sweating, diarrhoea, or vomiting. Likewise, this risk may be increased if you use certain drugs. Have a discussion with your healthcare provider on how to make safe use of amiodarone.

It is possible that older adults will be more vulnerable to the adverse effects of this medication, including QT prolongation (see the section on Side Effects), thyroid difficulties (see the section on Side Effects), and lung problems (see Warning section).

Inform your physician if you are pregnant or if you want to become pregnant in the near future. While using amiodarone, you should avoid becoming pregnant at all costs. A developing foetus could be harmed by amiodarone. If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible about the potential dangers and advantages of doing so.

Amiodarone is known to enter breast milk, where it could potentially have unfavourable effects on a breastfeeding newborn. While using this medication, it is not advised that you breastfeed your child.


Drug interactions can alter the way in which your prescriptions work or raise the likelihood that you will have major adverse effects. This document does not contain all possible medication interactions. Maintain a list of all the goods you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies, and give it to both your primary care physician and your pharmacist. Without first consulting your physician, you should never alter the dosage of any medication, stop taking any medication, or start taking any new medication.

Some medications used to treat hepatitis C, such as ledipasvir/sofosbuvir and sofosbuvir, are examples of items that have the potential to interact negatively with this medication.

Dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, and erythromycin), and quinolone antibiotics (such as levofloxacin) are just some of the many drugs that, in addition to amiodarone, have the potential to affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). Other drugs that have this potential include sotalol. (Also check out the section about warnings.)

The elimination of amiodarone from your body can be impacted by the use of other medications, which may have an effect on the drug’s therapeutic efficacy. Some examples are azole antifungals (such as itraconazole), cimetidine, cobicistat, protease inhibitors (such as fosamprenavir, and indinavir), rifamycins (such as rifampin), saquinavir, and St. John’s wort. Other examples include saquinavir.

Amiodarone has the potential to impede the elimination of other drugs from your body, which may have an effect on how effectively those medications operate. Clopidogrel, Macitentan, Phenytoin, Certain “Statin” Drugs (Lovastatin, Atorvastatin), Trazadone, and Warfarin are some examples of the Affected Medications. Other medications may also be affected.


Dial 911 if you suspect that someone has overdosed and they are exhibiting serious symptoms such as passing out or having problems breathing. In any other case, you should immediately contact a poison control center. To reach the poison control centre for your area in the United States, dial 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control centre. Weakness, severe dizziness, very slow heartbeat, and fainting are some of the symptoms that may accompany an overdose.


This drug should not be given to anyone else.

Tests in the laboratory and/or examinations in the clinic (such as an electrocardiogram, chest X-rays, lung tests, liver tests, thyroid tests, eye exams, and so on) should be carried out on a regular basis in order to track your improvement and identify any potential adverse reactions. Consult your doctor for additional details. It is imperative that you keep all of your laboratory and medical appointments.

Neglected Dose

If you forget to take a dose, you should take it as soon as you realise you forgot. If it is getting close to the time of the next dose, you should forgo the dose that you missed. Your next dose should be taken at the typical time. It is not necessary to double the dose in order to catch up.


Keep at room temperature and away from light and moisture. Store at room temperature. Keep away from the bathroom at all costs. Always make sure that children and animals are kept well away from any medications.

Unless you have been specifically told to do so, you should not flush drugs down the toilet or pour them down a drain. When it is no longer needed or has passed its expiration date, dispose of this product in the appropriate manner. Talk to your neighbourhood pharmacy or the firm that handles garbage disposal in your area.

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