Amiodarone HCl Injection

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/13/2020
Amiodarone HCl Injection Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Amiodarone?

Amiodarone HCl Injection is an antiarrhythmic drug used to treat and prevent frequently recurring ventricular fibrillation (VF) and ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients who don't respond to other therapy. Amiodarone HCl Injection is available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Amiodarone?

Common side effects of Amiodarone HCl Injection include:

Dosage for Amiodarone

The recommended starting dose of intravenous amiodarone is about 1000 mg over the first 24 hours of therapy.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Amiodarone?

Amiodarone HCl may interact with indinavir, cimetidine, graprefruit juice, cyclosporine, simvastatin, digoxin, other antiarrhythmic drugs, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, warfarin, rifampin, St. John's Wort, fentanyl, lidocaine, dextromethorphan, cholestyramine, disopyramide, antibiotics, azole antifungals, propranolol, diltiazem, and verapamil. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Amiodarone During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, amiodarone HCl should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the risk. Amiodarone HCl passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding while using amiodarone HCl is not recommended.

Additional Information

Our Amiodarone HCl Injection Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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Amiodarone HCl Injection Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Amiodarone takes a long time to completely clear from your body. You may continue to have side effects from amiodarone after you stop using it. It could take up to several months for the medicine to completely clear from your body.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects, even if they occur up to several months after you stop using amiodarone:

  • a new or a worsening irregular heartbeat pattern;
  • fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • wheezing, cough, chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • blurred vision, vision loss, headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with vomiting;
  • swelling, pain, redness, or irritation around your IV needle;
  • weight loss, thinning hair, feeling too hot or too cold, increased sweating, irregular menstrual periods, swelling in your neck (goiter);
  • pain in your upper stomach, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • little or no urinating.

Common side effects may include:

  • low fever;
  • slight dizziness; or
  • mild nausea, vomiting.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Amiodarone HCl Injection (Amiodarone HCl Injection)


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Amiodarone HCl Injection Professional Information


In a total of 1836 patients in controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials, 14% of patients received intravenous amiodarone for at least 1 week, 5% received it for at least 2 weeks, 2% received it for at least 3 weeks, and 1% received it for more than 3 weeks, without an increased incidence of severe adverse reactions. The mean duration of therapy in these studies was 5.6 days; median exposure was 3.7 days.

The most important treatment-emergent adverse effects were hypotension, asystole/cardiac arrest/electromechanical dissociation (EMD), cardiogenic shock, congestive heart failure, bradycardia, liver function test abnormalities, VT, and AV block. Overall, treatment was discontinued for about 9% of the patients because of adverse effects. The most common adverse effects leading to discontinuation of intravenous amiodarone therapy were hypotension (1.6%), asystole/cardiac arrest/EMD (1.2%), VT (1.1%), and cardiogenic shock (1%).

The following table lists the most common (incidence > 2%) treatment-emergent adverse events during intravenous amiodarone therapy considered at least possibly drug-related. These data were collected from the Wyeth-Ayerst clinical trials involving 1836 patients with life-threatening VT/VF. Data from all assigned treatment groups are pooled because none of the adverse events appeared to be dose-related.


Study Event Controlled
Body as a Whole
  Fever 24 (2.9%) 13 (1.2%) 37 (2.0%)
Cardiovascular System
  Bradycardia 49 (6.0%) 41 (4.0%) 90 (4.9%)
  Congestive heart failure 18 (2.2%) 21 (2.0%) 39 (2.1%)
  Heart arrest 29 (3.5%) 26 (2.5%) 55 (2.9%)
  Hypotension 165 (20.2%) 123 (12.0%) 288 (15.6%)
  Ventricular tachycardia 15 (1.8%) 30 (2.9%) 45 (2.4%)
Digestive System
  Liver function tests abnormal 35 (4.2%) 29 (2.8%) 64 (3.4%)
  Nausea 29 (3.5%) 43 (4.2%) 72 (3.9%)

Other treatment-emergent possibly drug-related adverse events reported in less than 2% of patients receiving intravenous amiodarone in controlled and uncontrolled studies included the following: abnormal kidney function, atrial fibrillation, diarrhea, increased ALT, increased AST, lung edema, nodal arrhythmia, prolonged QT interval, respiratory disorder, shock, sinus bradycardia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, thrombocytopenia, VF, and vomiting.

Postmarketing Reports

In postmarketing surveillance, hypotension (sometimes fatal), sinus arrest, pseudotumor cerebri, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), toxic epidermal necrolysis (sometimes fatal), exfoliative dermatitis, pancytopenia, neutropenia, erythema multiforme, angioedema, bronchospasm, possibly fatal respiratory disorders (including distress, failure, arrest, and ARDS), fever, dyspnea, cough, hemoptysis, wheezing, hypoxia, pulmonary infiltrates and anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reaction (including shock), hallucination, confusional state, disorientation, and delirium also have been reported with amiodarone therapy.

Also, in patients receiving recommended dosages, there have been postmarketing reports of the following injection site reactions: pain, erythema, edema, pigment changes, venous thrombosis, phlebitis, thrombophlebitis, cellulitis, necrosis, and skin sloughing (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Amiodarone HCl Injection (Amiodarone HCl Injection)


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© Amiodarone HCl Injection Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Amiodarone HCl Injection Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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