Health Guide
Drug Guide

Amiodarone (Intravenous route)

Pronunciation:

a-mee-OH-da-rone

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Classifications:

Therapeutic

Antiarrhythmic, Group III

Chemical

Benzofuran

Uses of This Medicine:

Amiodarone injection is used to correct life-threatening heart rhythm problems called ventricular arrhythmias. This medicine is used in patients who have already been treated with other medicines that did not work.

Amiodarone injection belongs to the group of medicines known as antiarrhythmics. It works directly on the heart tissue and will slow the nerve impulses in the heart. This helps keep the heart rhythm normal.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of amiodarone injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of amiodarone injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving amiodarone injection.

Breast-feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Your doctor will give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress while you receive this medicine to make sure that it is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. These symptoms are more likely to occur when you begin using this medicine, or when the dose is increased.

Liver problems may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: abdominal pain or tenderness; clay-colored stools; dark urine; decreased appetite; fever; headache; itching; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; skin rash; swelling of the feet or lower legs; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin.

This medicine can cause changes in your heart rhythm, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.

Tell your doctor right away if you are having shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, or any type of breathing problem while being treated with this medicine.

Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Grapefruits and grapefruit juice may increase the side effects from amiodarone injection by increasing the amount of this medicine in your body. You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (e.g., St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Blurred vision
confusion
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
sweating
unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
Black, tarry stools
bleeding gums
blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
blood in the urine or stools
chest pain or discomfort
chills
cold, clammy skin
cough
decreased urine output
diarrhea
difficulty with breathing
dilated neck veins
dizziness
extreme fatigue
fainting
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
fast, weak pulse
fever
irregular heartbeat recurrent
itching
joint or muscle pain
lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
no blood pressure or pulse
pinpoint red spots on the skin
red, irritated eyes
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
shortness of breath
slow or irregular heartbeat
sore throat
sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
stopping of the heart
swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
tightness in the chest
troubled breathing
unconsciousness
unusual bleeding or bruising
weight gain
wheezing
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach pain
agitation
back, leg, or stomach pains
bleeding gums
bloating
blurred or double vision
clay-colored stools
coma
confusion about identity, place, and time
cough or hoarseness
coughing or spitting up blood
cracks in the skin
dark-colored urine
decreased frequency or amount of urine
decreased urine output
depression
difficulty swallowing
eye pain
fever with or without chills
general body swelling
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
headache
high fever
hives
holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
hostility
increased blood pressure
increased thirst
indigestion
inflamed tissue from infection
irritability
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
lethargy
light-colored stools
loss of appetite
loss of heat from the body
lower back or side pain
muscle cramps or spasms
muscle pain or stiffness
muscle twitching
muscular pain, tenderness, wasting, or weakness
noisy breathing
nosebleeds
painful or difficult urination
pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
pale skin
persistent non-healing sore
pink growth
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
rapid weight gain
rash
red, swollen skin
reddish patch or irritated area
redness, soreness, or itching skin
scaly skin
seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
seizures
severe headache
shiny bump
sores, welting, or blisters
stupor
swollen or painful glands
unexplained bleeding or bruising
unpleasant breath odor
unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
upper right abdominal pain
vomiting
vomiting of blood
weakness
white, yellow, or waxy scar-like area
yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known
Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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