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Amiodarone Hcl

Amiodarone HCl

What is amiodarone?

Amiodarone affects the rhythm of your heartbeats. It 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.

Uses

This medication is used to treat certain types of serious (possibly fatal) irregular heartbeat (such as persistent ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia). It is used to restore normal heart rhythm and maintain a regular, steady heartbeat. Amiodarone is known as an anti-arrhythmic drug. It works by blocking certain electrical signals in the heart that can cause an irregular heartbeat.

How to use Amiodarone HCL

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using amiodarone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. You may take this medication with or without food, but it is important to choose one way and take this medication the same way with every dose.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

How should I take amiodarone?

Take amiodarone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. 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 this medicine with or without food, but take it the same way each time.

It may take up to 2 weeks before your heart rhythm improves. Keep using the medicine as directed even if you feel well.

Interactions:

Interactions may persist months after discontinuing. Symptomatic bradycardia when concomitant with ledipasvir/sofosbuvir or with sofosbuvir plus simeprevir; monitor heart rate when starting antiviral treatment. Potentiates antiarrhythmics (eg, quinidine, procainamide, flecainide; reduce their doses by ⅓ to ½), cyclosporine, digoxin (reduce digoxin dose by ½ or discontinue), oral anticoagulants (reduce anticoagulant dose by ⅓ to ½ and monitor PT), dabigatran, fentanyl, phenytoin, lidocaine, dextromethorphan. Myopathy with statins metabolized by CYP3A4; limit simvastatin dose to 20mg daily or lovastatin dose to 40mg daily. Potentiated by protease inhibitors, loratadine, cimetidine, trazodone, grapefruit juice.

Warnings/Precautions:

Be experienced with the treatment and monitoring of life-threatening arrhythmias before prescribing this medication. Correct potassium, magnesium and calcium deficiencies prior to initiation. Monitor for pulmonary and liver toxicity; reduce dose or discontinue if either occurs. Perform baseline pulmonary function tests at initiation, then every 3–6 months. Do liver function tests regularly. Surgery. Monitor thyroid function and signs of thyrotoxicosis. Assess implantable cardiac devices. Do regular ophthalmic exams. Withdraw cautiously. Elderly. Neonates (teratogenic effects). Pregnancy, nursing mothers: not recommended.

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