Cordarone : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Cordarone (Amiodarone) can cause lung damage that can be serious or life-threatening. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of lung disease or if you have ever developed lung damage or breathing problems while taking Cordarone. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, other breathing problems, cough or cough, or spitting up blood.
Cordarone can also cause liver damage. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: nausea, vomiting, dark colored urine, excessive tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, itching or pain in the upper right part of the stomach.
Cordarone can make your arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) worse, or it can cause you to develop new arrhythmias. Tell your doctor if you have ever felt dizzy or lightheaded or have fainted because your heartbeat was too slow and if you have or have ever had low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood; heart or thyroid disease; or any problem with your heart rhythm other than the arrhythmia being treated. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medications: antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox); azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax); beta blockers such as propranolol (Hemangeol, Inderal, Innopran); calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Diltzac, Tiazac, others) and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan, in Tarka); cisapride (Propulsid; not available in the US); clarithromycin (Biaxin); clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay); diuretics (‘water pills’); dofetilide (Tikosyn); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as 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 USA); other medications for irregular heartbeat such as digoxin (Lanoxin), disopyramide (Norpace), flecainide, ivabradine (Corlanor), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), procainamide, quinidine (in Nuedexta), and sotalol (Betapace, Sorine, Sotylize); and thioridazine. If you have any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: lightheadedness; Fainting; fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats; or feeling like your heart has skipped a beat.
You will probably be hospitalized for a week or more when you start your treatment with Cordarone. Your doctor will monitor you carefully during this time and while you continue to take Cordarone. Your doctor will likely prescribe a high dose of Cordarone and gradually decrease it as the medicine begins to work. Your doctor may lower your dose during your treatment if you experience side effects. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions.
Do not stop taking Cordarone without consulting your doctor. You may need to be closely monitored or even hospitalized when you stop taking Cordarone. Cordarone can stay in your body for some time after you stop taking it, so your doctor will watch you carefully during this time.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests, such as blood tests, X-rays, and electrocardiograms (ECGs, tests that record the electrical activity of the heart) before and during your treatment to make sure it is safe for you to take Cordarone and check your body’s response to the medicine. .
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you start treatment with Cordarone and each time you get a refill. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also get the Medication Guide from the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking Cordarone.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Cordarone (Amiodarone) is used to treat and prevent certain types of serious and life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias (a certain type of abnormal heart rhythm when other medications did not help or could not be tolerated. Cordarone is in a class of medications called antiarrhythmics. Relaxing the muscles overactive heart disease.
How should this medicine be used?
Cordarone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day. You can take Cordarone with or without food, but be sure to take it the same way each time. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take Cordarone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Cordarone is also sometimes used to treat other types of arrhythmias. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medicine may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Cordarone,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Cordarone, iodine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Cordarone tablets. Ask your pharmacist or see the Medication Guide for a list of ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and any of the following: antidepressants (‘mood elevators’) such as trazodone (Oleptro); anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as dabigatran (Pradaxa) and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet, in Liptruzet), cholestyramine (Prevalite), lovastatin (Altoprev, in Advicor), and simvastatin (Zocor, in Simcor, in Vytorin); cimetidine; clopidogrel (Plavix); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); dextromethorphan (a medicine in many cough preparations); fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, others); HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir (Crixivan) and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra, in Viekira Pak); ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (Harvoni); lithium (Lithobid); loratadine (Claritin); medications for diabetes or seizures; methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall); narcotic pain medication; rifampicin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater); and sofosbuvir (Solvaldi) with simeprevir (Olysio). Many other medications can interact with Cordarone, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s wort.
- Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea or have or have ever had any of the conditions mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section or problems with your blood pressure.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you plan to get pregnant during your treatment because Cordarone can stay in your body for some time after you stop taking it. If you become pregnant while taking Cordarone, call your doctor immediately. Cordarone can harm an unborn baby.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Cordarone.
- Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medicine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults generally should not take Cordarone because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery or laser eye surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Cordarone.
- Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight or sunlamps and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Cordarone can make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Exposed skin may turn blue-gray and may not return to normal even after you stop taking this drug.
- You should know that Cordarone can cause vision problems, including permanent blindness. Make sure you have regular eye exams during your treatment and call your doctor if your eyes become dry, sensitive to light, see halos, or have blurred vision or any other problems with your vision.
- You should know that Cordarone can stay in your body for several months after you stop taking it. You may continue to experience side effects from Cordarone during this time. Be sure to tell all health care providers who treat you or prescribe any medications during this time that you recently stopped taking Cordarone.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are taking this medication.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Cordarone 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:
- weight loss or gain
- intolerance to heat or cold
- thinning hair
- excessive sweating
- changes in menstrual cycle
- swelling in the front of the neck (goiter)
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- decreased concentration
- movements that you cannot control
- poor coordination or trouble walking
- numbness or tingling in the hands, legs, and feet
- muscle weakness
Cordarone can cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- slow heartbeat
- blurred vision
What other information should I know?
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.