Amiodarone is used to treat fast or abnormal heartbeats.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Amiodarone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine may be taken with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Amiodarone must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- slower than usual heartbeat
- heart block or any other heartbeat problems and do not have a pacemaker
- cardiogenic shock (a condition caused by the inability of the heart to pump enough blood for the body)
- severe low blood pressure
- severe lung disease
- presence or history of thyroid disease
- allergies to iodine
as Amiodarone may not be suitable for you.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
If you are scheduled for corneal refractive laser surgery, alert your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
Do not take Amiodarone with medicines used to treat mood disorder, cold and allergy, malaria, and certain antibiotics. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- other heart diseases e.g. heart failure
- implanted devices in your heart e.g. pacemaker (a device that helps control abnormal heart rhythms)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Amiodarone to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. liver, lung, thyroid function; ECG, electrolyte levels, eye examination) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Your blood pressure may fall to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure before and during treatment.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Amiodarone may cause dizziness and some problems with your eyesight. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, unpleasant taste, constipation, tremor or uncontrolled muscle movements, problem sleeping; itchy, red, patched and discoloured skin.
This medicine may also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing, fever
- abnormally slow heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath
- severe agitation or extremely restless feeling, weight loss, increased sweating, intolerance to heat
- extreme tiredness or weakness, weight gain, intolerance to cold temperature
- loss of eyesight in one eye, dim and colourless eyesight, sore or tender eyes
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Amiodarone with the following medicines:
- certain medicines used for mood disorder e.g. chlorpromazine, thioridazine, fluphenazine, lithium
- medicines to treat depression e.g. doxepin, maprotiline, amitriptyline
- certain medicines for cold and allergy e.g. terfenadine
- medicines used to treat malaria e.g. quinine, mefloquine, chloroquine, halofantrine
- certain antibiotics e.g. moxifloxacin
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking/using any of these medicines:
- other medicines for heart disease e.g. diltiazem, verapamil, atenolol, flecainide
- medicines for blood clot e.g. warfarin
- medicines for stomach disorder e.g. cimetidine
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizure) e.g. phenytoin
- medicines for anxiety e.g. clonazepam
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
- cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. simvastatin
- medicine to treat TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Amiodarone.
Always inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol and excessive consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (more than 1 litre a day).
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.