Cordarone (Amiodarone)

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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.

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.

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 happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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