Cordarone

Generic Name: Amiodarone

  • What is Cordarone?

    Cordarone is used to treat life-threatening heartbeat conditions known as recurrent ventricular fibrillation and recurrent hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Cordarone?

    Cordarone can cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including lung damage, liver damage, and worsened heartbeat conditions. Because of the possible side effects, Cordarone should only be used in adults with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias for which other treatments did not work or were not tolerated.

    Cordarone may induce serious thyroid conditions or make your irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) worse. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any new or worse symptoms of arrhythmia.

    You may still have side effects after stopping Cordarone because the medicine stays in your body from weeks to months after treatment is stopped.

  • Who should not take Cordarone?

    Do not take Cordarone if you have certain heart conditions (heart block, very slow heart rate, or slow heart rate with dizziness or lightheadedness) or have an allergy to amiodarone, iodine, or any of the other ingredients in Cordarone.

    Do not undergo corneal laser surgery or receive radioactive iodine therapy while on Cordarone.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Cordarone?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Cordarone. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have lung or breathing problems, have a history of liver problems or thyroid problems, blood pressure problems, are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The usual starting doses are 800-1,600 milligrams (mg) per day, divided in one or two doses and given for 1-3 weeks. When adequate heartbeat control is achieved, your dose may be decreased to 600-800 mg per day in one or two doses for 1 month.

    To maintain adequate heartbeat control, the usual dose is 400 mg per day. Lower doses are recommended in certain situations and will be determined by your doctor.

  • How should I take Cordarone?

    Keep taking your medicine until your doctor tells you to stop. Do not stop taking it because you feel better; otherwise, your condition may get worse.

    You may take Cordarone with or without food. Make sure you take Cordarone the same way each time.

  • What should I avoid while taking Cordarone?

    Avoid grapefruit juice during treatment with Cordarone.

    Avoid exposing your skin to the sun or sun lamps or becoming pregnant. Also, do not breastfeed while taking this medication.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Cordarone?

    If Cordarone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Cordarone with the following: antibiotics, antiarrhythmics, antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medicines, blood thinners, cholesterol or bile medicines, cimetidine, cyclosporine, dextromethorphan, diabetes medicines, diuretics (water pills), grapefruit juice, HIV or AIDS medicines, narcotic pain relievers, or St. John's wort.

  • What are the possible side effects of Cordarone?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: visual disturbances, "pins and needles" sensations, fatigue, dizziness, lack of coordination, numbness in the hands, legs or feet, muscle weakness, uncontrolled movements, sensitivity to the sun, thyroid problems, nausea and vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite

  • Can I receive Cordarone if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Cordarone can harm your unborn baby. This medication is able to pass into your breast milk. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Cordarone?

    If you miss a dose of Cordarone, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Cordarone?

    Store at room temperature and protect from light.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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