Cordarone belongs to the antiarrhythmics. It is used to correct abnormal rhythms of the heart, to treat potentially life-threatening types of abnormal heart rhythms (such as persistent ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia). It helps by making the heartbeat more regularly and it works by blocking certain electrical signals in the heart that can cause an irregular heartbeat. The effects of this medication may be noted as early as three days after starting treatment, but it is usually one to three weeks before beneficial effects are seen.
Dosage and direction
You will receive your first few doses of amiodarone in a hospital setting where your heart can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects. The recommended adult starting dose of Cordarone is usually from 800 mg to 1,600 mg daily for the first one to three weeks in divided doses. The dose is eventually reduced to 200 mg to 400 mg daily as prescribed by your doctor and according to circumstances. Take this medication by mouth, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. Take it with or without food with a full glass of water. 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. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a higher dose and gradually decrease your dose. Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
When starting treatment with this drug, you may stay in the hospital for proper monitoring by your doctor. Cordarone may take 2 weeks or longer to have an effect in your body. This drug stays in your body for weeks to months, even after you are no longer taking it. Also, serious side effects may occur weeks to months after taking Cordarone. Before taking Cordarone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your allergy to Cordarone, or to iodine and other allergies. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history. You must limit alcoholic beverages. This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps by using a sunscreen and wearing protective clothing when outdoors. Before having surgery, tell your doctors or dentist about all prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products you use.
People who have very low heart rate, cardiogenic shock, second or third-degree AV block (except when used with a pacemaker), hepatitis, thyroid disease, certain lung abnormalities, an allergy to amiodarone, any ingredients of the product, or iodine should not take Cordarone. If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before taking amiodarone, tell your doctor about diseases you have: asthma or another lung disorder, liver disease, vision problems, high or low blood pressure, a thyroid disorder, an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood) or if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator implanted in your chest.
Possible side effects
Serious side effects may include lung or liver problems.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any symptoms of:
• lung or liver problems such as cough,
• shortness of breath,
• chest pain,
• coughing up blood,
• persistent nausea/vomiting,
• dark urine,
• severe stomach/abdominal pain, or yellowing eyes/skin.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:
• difficulty breathing,
• swelling of your face,
• lips, tongue or throat.
Less serious side effects may include:
• feeling dizzy or tired,
• stomach pain,
• loss of appetite,
• lack of coordination or warmth,
• tingling, or redness under your skin.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Cordarone may interact with drugs such as atenolol (Tenormin), propranolol (Inderal), metoprolol (Lopressor), digoxin(Lanoxin), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan, Covera-HS) or diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac). The result of combination is an excessively slow heart rate or a block in the conduction of the electrical impulse through the heart. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include weakness, slow heart rate, feeling light-headed, or fainting. Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Store Cordarone at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed.