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What is Cordarone (Amiodarone) prescribed for?

This medication is used as a treatment for serious types of irregular heartbeat, such as persistent ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia.  And what exactly is Tachycardia, is a problem with the heart’s electrical signals, which can make it speed up, even if you’re not anxious or exercising. While most of the time it doesn’t cause any major health concerns, besides a racing heart being a bit frightening.

Still, you should see your doctor about it. When your heart beats too quickly, it can't pump out enough blood to meet your body's needs.

When taken, this medicine helps restore a normal heart rhythm and aids in maintaining a normal, steady heartbeat. How this medication works is by blocking certain electrical signals in the heart that can cause the issue of the irregular heartbeat.

This medication comes in two different doses, which are 100mg and 200mg. Remember your dose is based on your medical background and your overall response to the treatment. If your doctor or pharmacist has given you some information in the form of a pamphlet, take the time to read up on this drug, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, please consult your doctor.

Take this medication by mouth, and can be taken with, or without food.  And it is usually taken twice daily. Take note that you must be careful in how you take this medication. If you take it with or without food, it must remain the same every time you take it.

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it is best to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while on this medication.  The reason behind this is because grapefruit can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream.

The dosage you are given is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment. Your doctor may start you on a higher dose and then gradually lower it over time. Do not take more than what has been prescribed to you. Or take it any longer then what has been given to you.


Before taking this medication, inform your doctor if you are allergic to Amiodarone, or if you have any other allergies in general.

Before using this medication it is always best to go over your medical history with your doctor, especially if you have had the following;  liver disease, lung disease, thyroid problems.

Amiodarone may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using amiodarone, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using amiodarone safely.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, shaking, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.

There is some serious side effects to this medication, and if you are encountering any of them, notify your doctor right away. These side effects are listed below; easy bruising/bleeding, loss of coordination, tingling/numbness of the hands or feet, uncontrolled movements, new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain).

Seek medical help right away however if you are experiencing any of the side effects listed here; faster/slower/more irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.

Amiodarone may rarely cause thyroid problems. Either low thyroid function or overactive thyroid function may occur. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any symptoms of low or overactive thyroid, including cold or heat intolerance, unexplained weight loss/gain, thinning hair, unusual sweating, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, or lump/growth in the front of the neck (goiter).

This drug may cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun. With long-term treatment, you may rarely develop blue-gray color of the skin. This effect is not harmful and color may return to normal after the drug is stopped. To help prevent skin effects, limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


What is Amiodarone?

Amiodarone, sold as the brand name Cordarone, is an antiarrhythmics agent available in tablet form. Each tablet contains a fixed amount of Cordarone, either 100 or 200 mg, which is taken orally by mouth. Once administered, the drug is metabolized by the liver with an incredibly long half-life of about 58 days (but can range between 15 and 142 days) and is then excreted mainly through the liver as bile. At My Drug Center, we carry the generic alternative to Cordarone, which is sold by its active ingredients name; Amiodarone, available in both strengths.


What is Amiodarone used for?

Amiodarone is used for the treatment of ventricular tachycardia (fast but regular heart beat) or ventricular fibrillation (fast and irregular heart beat); these are life-threatening heart rhythm disorders affecting the lower chambers of the heart that permit blood to flow out from the heart (called the ventricles). Using Amiodarone can help maintain a normal heart beat and avoid further complications.


How does Amiodarone work?

Amiodarone has an effect on the electrical impulses that influence the heart muscles. It interferes and changes the way those impulses influence the muscles to allow the heart to beat more regularly.


What are the side effects of Amiodarone?

Some common side effects of Amiodarone include nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, shakiness, or tiredness. Side effects are a normal response of the body when taking a new medication and should not alarm you; however, if side effects persist or become unmanageable, you should consult with your doctor. Keep in mind, not all side effects have been listed here.


How long can you take Amiodarone?

This is a question best left for your doctor to answer. Your body may react to a drug differently than another person’s body which is due to many personal factors such as age, weight, genetic make-up, gender, and even certain medications or medical conditions can change the way your body reacts to a drug. Therefore, only your doctor who understands your personal factors can determine how long you can use this medication for both safely and effectively. Generally, most patients can use Amiodarone for long-term use.


What class of drug is Amiodarone?

Amiodarone belongs to the drug class called antiarrhythmics. These types of drugs are used for both atrial and ventricular cardiac arrhythmias and, based off their mechanism of action, they are divided into four further classes; Amiodarone falls under class 3 (III) antiarrhythmics. Antiarrhythmics in class 3 have an effect on potassium channels and exhibit reverse-use dependence, which means their potency increases when the heart rate is slower.


How to pronounce Amiodarone?

It may be important to know how to properly pronounce the name of the medication you are taking. For example, if you need eye surgery, it is important to tell your surgeon that you are taking Amiodarone beforehand. The proper pronunciation for Amiodarone is as follows; A – MI – OH – DA – RONE.


How long does Amiodarone stay in your system?

The exact amount of time Amiodarone will remain in your system for will vary between each patient. Since the half-life has a wide range, it could take anywhere from 75 days (10.7 weeks) to 710 days (1 year and 11 months, roughly) to clear from your system; however, the active metabolites of this medication will not remain in the system for as long which means you may still have Amiodarone in your system but may not have any therapeutic effects. You can estimate how long it will take a drug to clear the system by multiplying the half-life by 5.


What is the half-life of Amiodarone?

The half-life of Amiodarone will be different for most patients who use this medication, as many personal factors determine the answer. The half-life of Amiodarone can range from anywhere between 15 days to 142 days, averaging at about 58 days. The half-life of a medication measures how long it takes for the drug to clear the system by 50%.

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