Cordarone (Generic Amiodarone)
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Amiodarone may result in significant or perhaps fatal lung damage. If you have or have ever had any form of lung illness, or if you have ever experienced lung damage or breathing issues while taking amiodarone, let your doctor know right away. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, coughing or spitting up blood while coughing, wheezing, or other breathing issues
Furthermore, amiodarone may harm the liver. If you have liver illness now or ever had it, let your doctor know. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, black urine, extreme fatigue, yellowing of the skin or eyes, itching, or stomach pain in the upper right portion.
Your arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) could get worse or you could have additional arrhythmias as a result of taking amiodarone. Inform your doctor if you have ever experienced fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness due to a too-slow heartbeat, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, heart or thyroid disorders, or any issues with your heart rhythm other than the arrhythmia being treated. If you are taking any of the following medications, let your doctor and pharmacist know: Azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax); beta blockers such propranolol (Hemangeol, Inderal, Innopran); antifungals like fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox); Calcium channel blockers such diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Diltzac, Tiazac, among others) and verapamil (Calan, Covera, and Verelan in Tarka); cisapride (Propulsid; unavailable in the US); clarithromycin (Biaxin); clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay); diuretics (‘water pills’); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin), dofetilide (Tikosyn), fluoroquinolone antibiotics such ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (not available in the US), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (not available in the US), ofloxacin, and sparfloxacin (not available in the US); other drugs for irregular heartbeats include thioridazine, procainamide, quinidine (in Nuedexta), flecainide, digoxin (Lanoxin), disopyramide (Norpace), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), and sotalol (Betapace, Sorine, Sotylize); as well as digoxin (Lanoxin), flecainide, and ivabradine. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below: Feeling dizzy, faint, your heart is beating quickly, slowly, or thumping, or your heart has skipped a beat.
The first week or more of your amiodarone treatment will likely be spent in the hospital. For as long as you take amiodarone, your doctor will keep a close eye on you during this period. As the drug starts to function, your doctor will likely put you on a high dose of amiodarone and gradually reduce it. If you experience side effects while receiving therapy, your doctor may lower your dose. Carefully adhere to your doctor’s instructions.
Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking amiodarone. After you stop taking amiodarone, you might need to be closely watched or possibly admitted to the hospital. Your doctor will keep a close eye on you throughout this period because amiodarone may stay in your system for some time after you stop taking it.
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To ensure that taking amiodarone is safe for you and to monitor your body’s reaction to the medication, your doctor will request a number of tests before and during your treatment, including blood tests, X-rays, and electrocardiograms (EKGs, tests that record the electrical activity of the heart).
The manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) will be sent to you by your doctor or pharmacist when you start amiodarone medication and each time you need a prescription refill. If you have any questions, carefully read the material and contact your doctor or pharmacist. The Medication Guide is also available on the FDA website at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm.
The dangers of taking amiodarone should be discussed with your doctor.
Why is this medication prescribed?
When other medications failed to work or could not be tolerated, amiodarone is used to treat and prevent some significant, life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias (a particular form of irregular cardiac rhythm). Antiarrhythmics are a group of drugs that includes amiodarone. Overactive cardiac muscles are relaxed as a result of it.
How should this medicine be used?
Amiodarone is available as an oral tablet. Typically, it is taken once or twice a day. Amiodarone can be taken with or without food, but it must always be taken the same way each time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the amiodarone directions exactly. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
In some cases, amiodarone is used to treat different arrhythmias. The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking amiodarone,
- If you have an allergy to amiodarone, iodine, any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in amiodarone tablets, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
- Inform your physician and pharmacist of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements you are currently taking or intend to take. Make careful to bring up any of the following, along with any of the medications indicated in the IMPORTANT WARNING section: mood-elevating drugs like trazodone (Oleptro), which are antidepressants; drugs that control cholesterol, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet, in Liptruzet), cholestyramine (Prevalite), lovastatin (Altoprev, in Advicor), and simvastatin (Zocor, in Simcor, in Vytorin); cimetidine; clopidogrel (Plavix); anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) like dabigatran (Pradaxa) and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, among others); HIV protease inhibitors as indinavir (Crixivan) and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra, in Viekira Pak); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); dextromethorphan (a drug in several cough medicines); fentanyl; lithium (Lithobid), loratadine (Claritin), drugs for seizures or diabetes, methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall), narcotic painkillers, rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater), ledipasvir and sofobuvir (Harvoni), and sofobuvir (Solvaldi) with si (Olysio). Be important to inform your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, even those that may not appear on this list, as many other drugs may interact with amiodarone. Your medical professional might have to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye out for any negative side effects.
- Please let your doctor know if you are taking any herbal supplements, especially St. John’s wort.
- Inform your doctor if you experience diarrhoea, any of the conditions listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, or blood pressure issues.
- If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, let your doctor know. If you intend to become pregnant while receiving therapy, let your doctor know right away because amiodarone may stay in your system for a while after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you conceive while taking amiodarone. Amiodarone may affect developing foetuses.
- Inform your doctor if you are nursing a child. If you are using amiodarone, you should not breastfeed.
- If you are 65 years of age or older, talk to your doctor about the dangers of taking this drug. Amiodarone is typically not recommended for older persons to consume since it is not as safe or effective as alternative drugs that can be used to treat the same disease.
- Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking amiodarone if you are having surgery, such as laser eye surgery or dental surgery.
- Aim to prevent exposure to sunlight or sunlamps that is unnecessary or prolonged and to use protective clothes, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Amiodarone may increase the sensitivity of your skin to the sun. Even after you stop using this drug, exposed skin may remain blue-gray and not return to normal.
- Amiodarone may result in vision issues, including permanent blindness, which you should be aware of. Throughout your therapy, be careful to have regular eye exams. Call your doctor if you experience any vision issues, such as blurred vision, dry eyes, sensitivity to light, or halos.
- Amiodarone may stay in your system for several months after you stop taking it, so you should be aware of that. During this time, amiodarone side effects could still affect you. If you have recently stopped taking amiodarone, make sure to let each medical professional who sees you or writes a prescription for you during this period know.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
When using this medication, avoid drinking grapefruit juice.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Ignore the missed dose and carry on with my normal dosing routine. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Amiodarone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Changes in ability to taste and smell
- Changes in amount of saliva
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- Gain or loss of weight
- An intolerance to cold or heat
- Hair loss
- Excessive perspiration
- Cycles of menstruation changing
- Swelling in the front of the neck (goiter)
- Hands, foot, ankles, or lower legs swelling
- Body shaking that cannot be controlled
- Loss of concentration
- Moves that you cannot control
- Poor balance or difficulty walking
- Tingling or numbness in the feet, legs, and hands
- Muscle tremor
Further negative effects of amiodarone are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from light, excessive heat, and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
Overdose symptoms could include:
- Sluggish heartbeat
- Distorted vision
What other information should I know?
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.