AMIODARONE - a patient's guide
This medicine is used for the treatment of heart arrhythmias
(irregularities), in particular when other medicines have been
unsuccessful. It is known as a Class III agent, where it has broad
anti-arrhythmic activity and works through prolonging the duration of
electrical activity in the heart. This effect basically slows down
the heart providing normal rhythm back to your heartbeat.
Amiodarone has a long half life, therefore it is usually given
once daily. It is also often initiated in hospital or under
specialist supervision partly due to its complexity.
- Thyroid disease
- Liver and kidney impairment
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Severe heart failure
Metallic taste, liver and lung problems (needs monitoring),
hyper/hypothyroidism, neuropathy, corneal (eye) deposits, skin
discolouration (bluish), photosensitivity have been reported. Other
cases reported include nausea, skin rash, vomiting and fatigue.
Digoxin, warfarin, beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers
should be used with caution in combination with amiodarone.
- Follow the instructions on the label of this medicine
- Do not stop taking this medicine unless directed by your
- Avoid excess exposure to direct sunlight and sun lamps (use
broad-spectrum +15 sunblock)
- You may require liver and thyroid function tests (approx.
every 6 months) so discuss with doctor/specialist
- Contact your doctor/ specialist or seek medical attention if
side effects are severe or ongoing.
Other Sources of Information
Clearly written patient guides - look under the patient education area for an alphabetical list, or search the site by key word.
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