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Cordarone

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/26/2018
Cordarone Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Cordarone, Pacerone

Generic Name: amiodarone (oral)

What is amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

Amiodarone affects the rhythm of your heartbeats.

Amiodarone is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with life-threatening heart rhythm disorders of the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow out of the heart). Amiodarone is used to treat ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.

Amiodarone is for use only in treating life-threatening heart rhythm disorders.

Amiodarone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

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.

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:

  • wheezing, cough, chest pain, cough with bloody mucus, fever;
  • a new or a worsening irregular heartbeat pattern (fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats);
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • blurred vision, seeing halos around lights (your eyes may be more sensitive to light);
  • liver problems--nausea, vomiting, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • nerve problems--loss of coordination, muscle weakness, uncontrolled muscle movement, or a prickly feeling in your hands or lower legs;
  • signs of overactive thyroid--weight loss, thinning hair, feeling hot, increased sweating, tremors, feeling nervous or irritable, irregular menstrual periods, swelling in your neck (goiter); or
  • signs of underactive thyroid--weight gain, tiredness, depression, trouble concentrating, feeling cold.

Common side effects may include:

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.

What is the most important information I should know about amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

Amiodarone is for use only in treating life-threatening heart rhythm disorders.

You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to amiodarone or iodine, or if you have heart block, a history of slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint, or if your heart cannot pump blood properly.

Amiodarone can cause dangerous side effects on your heart, liver, lungs, or vision.

Call your doctor or get medical help at once if you have: chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, trouble breathing, vision problems, upper stomach pain, vomiting, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), or if you cough up blood.

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Cordarone Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to amiodarone or iodine, or if you have:

  • a serious heart condition called "AV block" (2nd or 3rd degree), unless you have a pacemaker;
  • a history of slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint; or
  • if your heart cannot pump blood properly.

Amiodarone can cause dangerous side effects on your heart, liver, lungs, or thyroid.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Taking amiodarone during pregnancy may harm an unborn baby, or cause thyroid problems or abnormal heartbeats in the baby after it is born. Amiodarone may also affect the child's growth or development (speech, movement, academic skills) later in life. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while taking amiodarone, and for several months after stopping. Amiodarone takes a long time to clear from your body. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby during this time.

How should I take amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

You will receive your first few doses in a hospital setting, where your heart rhythm can be monitored.

If you have been taking another heart rhythm medicine, you may need to gradually stop taking it when you start using amiodarone. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

You may take amiodarone with or without food, but take it the same way each time.

It may take up to 3 weeks before your heart rhythm improves. Keep using the medicine as directed even if you feel well.

Amiodarone can have long lasting effects on your body. You may need frequent medical tests while using this medicine and for several months after your last dose.

If you need surgery (including laser eye surgery), tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using amiodarone.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using amiodarone.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

QUESTION

In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer
Cordarone Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of amiodarone can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include weakness, slow heart rate, feeling light-headed, or loss of consciousness.

What should I avoid while taking amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Grapefruit may interact with amiodarone and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.

Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing St. John's wort.

Amiodarone could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What other drugs will affect amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Amiodarone takes a long time to completely clear from your body. Drug interactions are possible for up to several months after you stop using amiodarone. Talk to your doctor before taking any medication during this time. Keep track of how long it has been since your last dose of amiodarone.

Many drugs can affect amiodarone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information (Cordarone, Pacerone)?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about amiodarone.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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