Generic Name: Amiodarone hydrochloride
Product Name: Amiodarone (Terry White Chemists)
Amiodarone is used in the treatment of fast abnormal heart rhythms that have not responded to other treatments. These heart rhythms include Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, supraventricular tachycardias, nodal tachycardias, ventricular tachycardias, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation.
Amiodarone is an antiarrhythmic agent that reduces the excitability of the heart muscle cells making them less likely to respond to abnormal electrical activity and also reduces the speed that abnormal electrical impulses are conducted through the heart.
Doses need to be individually titrated for each individual patient depending on their individual response and their side effects as absorption varies widely between patientsIt is particularly important that the minimum effective dose be used.
Amiodarone treatment is usually started at a dose of 200 mg three times daily. After one week the dose is reduced to 200 mg twice daily for a further week and then to 200 mg once daily for maintenance therapy.
Common side effects
- Elevated levels of liver enzymes
- Abnormal thyroid function tests – amiodarone can cause hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
- Excessive slowing of the heart rate
- Increased skin reaction on exposure to sunlight
- Muscle weakness
- Deposits in the cornea of the eye, which are normally asymptomatic
Uncommon side effects
- Worsening of pre-existing heart failure
- Skin rashes
- Facial flushing
- Hair loss
- Bluish discolouration of the skin with grey discolouration of the face
- Loss of appetite
- Salty or metallic taste in the mouth
- Weight gain
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Vivid dreams
- Less a feeling
- Difficulty walking
- Chronic anxiety
- Inflammation of the testis
For further information talk to your doctor.