Amiodarone - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Amiodarone: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Amiodarone?

Amiodarone is used to treat patients with irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, or stabilize the heartbeat. Amiodarone is classified under class III drugs based on the Vaughan Williams Classes under antiarrhythmic medication. There are a total of 4-classes under Vaughan Williams Classes-

  • Class I drugs are sodium channel blockers.
  • Class II drugs are beta-blockers.
  • Class III drugs are potassium channel blockers.
  • Class IV drugs are calcium channel blockers.

A Class III drug, Amiodarone, blocks all the potassium, sodium, beta, and calcium channels to the heart. The drug amiodarone was first discovered in 1961 by a Belgian company to treat angina (chest pain or discomfort) and is widely used in South America and Europe.

What are the uses of Amiodarone?

Amiodarone is a Class III antiarrhythmic drug used to specifically treat ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, and also ventricular arrhythmias. It works by controlling the uneven beating of your heart called arrhythmias. It is used to treat irregular heartbeats, faster heartbeats, or other types of heartbeats known as atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation. This drug also helps prevent recurrent arrhythmias, restore sinus rhythm in patients with cardiac arrhythmias, and maintain a regular, steady heartbeat.

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What are the side effects of Amiodarone?

You should consult your doctor before taking this medicine. Report to your doctor immediately if you notice any side effects in your body after taking this drug. The side effects after taking Amiodarone are:

  • Vision problems or light vision.
  • Hepatotoxicity in the liver.
  • Numbness in hands, legs, or feet.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Uncontrolled movements.
  • Poor coordination and trouble walking.
  • Weight fluctuations (weight loss or weight gain).
  • Heat or cold intolerance.
  • Nervousness.
  • Sweating.
  • Change in menses.
  • Hair thinning.
  • Goiter (swelling of neck).
  • Decreased concentration.
  • Irritability.

What is Amiodarone

Uses of Amiodarone

Side effects of Amiodarone

S.no Product Name Dosage Form
1. Tachyra Amiodarone 100mg/200mg Tablet
2. Amiodar Amiodarone 100mg/200mg Tablet
3. Cordarone X Amiodarone 200mg Tablet
4. Cordarone Amiodarone Hydrochloride 50mg Injection
5. Amipace Amiodarone 100mg/200mg Tablet


Frequently Asked Questions about Amiodarone

1. Does Amiodarone lower blood pressure?

Amiodarone may cause a drop in blood pressure because it causes the blood vessels to dilate as an antiarrhythmic medication. This characteristic of Amiodarone is a side effect but may also benefit patients with congestive heart failure. Always consult your doctor if you face any side effects after taking this medicine.

2. What does Amiodarone do?

Heart muscles are responsible for the contraction and conduction of the heart, causing the heart to beat. The channels that increase the heartbeat and can cause irregular or fast heartbeats are sodium, potassium, calcium channels, and beta receptors. Amiodarone blocks these channels and beta receptors to regulate and steady the heartbeat.

3. What is the lowest dose of Amiodarone?

The dosage of Amiodarone is available in two forms, i.e., intravenously and orally as tablets. The patient may be given Amiodarone intravenously as 10 to 50mg/hr over 24 hours followed by 100-200mg daily in oral form. This is the lowest dosage recommended for Amiodarone. However, you can consult our experts to identify the best dosage for you.

4. Is Amiodarone a beta-blocker?

Although Amiodarone is classified as a Class III drug under Vaughan Williams Classes, it has potent antiarrhythmic properties of all 4-classes that can block all 4-channels (sodium, potassium, calcium & beta receptors). Activation of the beat-1 receptor can increase the heart rate and contraction that may cause a stroke or a cardiac arrest. Amiodarone blocks beta receptors preventing the above.

5. What should be avoided when taking Amiodarone?

Precautions should be taken while taking Amiodarone. This medication is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. This drug is also to be avoided with other medicines, blood thinners, etc., that your doctor would advise you. However, some general foods you should avoid are grapefruits, grape juices, caffeine, and alcohol.

6. How long can you take Amiodarone?

Amiodarone is given intravenously for 1-3 days. In the oral form, the dosage and duration for this drug vary from patient to patient. Generally, it is recommended for 1-3 weeks for patients with supraventricular arrhythmia. Suppose the patient's condition is life-threatening, i.e., ventricular arrhythmia. A high oral dosage is given for a month, followed by a low maintenance dosage for up to a year.

7. How long does Amiodarone stay in your system?

Amiodarone stays in the blood for weeks to months even if you stop taking the drug. Hence it may cause side effects even long after you stop taking Amiodarone. Always consult your doctor and stick to the prescribed medication advised by your doctor. For best results and accurate dosages and precautions, consult our experts.

8. Is Amiodarone a calcium channel blocker?

Although Amiodarone is classified as a Class III drug under Vaughan Williams Classes, it has potent antiarrhythmic properties of all 4-classes that can block all 4-channels (sodium, potassium, calcium & beta receptors). Hypercalcemia, i.e., an increased supply of calcium to the heart can cause your heart to beat irregularly. Amiodarone blocks the calcium channel, thereby preventing the above.

9. Why does Amiodarone need a filter?

Amiodarone is used intravenously for immediate effects on the body. However, when taken through IV, it precipitates in the intravenous fluid and settles down. Hence an in-line filter is necessary while taking this drug. An expert is recommended to do this process to avoid risks. Our doctors can help you in the best manner to take the dosage intravenously.

10. Is Amiodarone a blood thinner?

Amiodarone may cause blood thinning due to its effects, but it cannot cause any harm or potential risks. However, if you take it along with any other blood thinners or drugs such as Aspirin, warfarin, etc., it may further thin your blood, causing a fatal effect. Consult your doctor and discuss your medical history to avoid such conditions.

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  1. https://www.medicinenet.com/amiodarone/article.htm
  2. netmeds.com
  3. Youtube: Drug chug channel

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.