You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to amiodarone or iodine, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should not use this medicine if you have certain heart problems such as heart block or severe sinus-node dysfunction. Do not use this medicine if you have had fainting spells caused by very slow heartbeat.
Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
You will receive your first dose of this medicine in a hospital. Your caregivers will watch you closely after you take this medicine to make sure you do not have any serious side effects.
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
It may take one or two weeks before your body responds to this medicine. Take this medicine exactly as your doctor ordered, even if you feel fine.
You may take this medicine with or without food, but take it the same way each time.
You may need to carry identification showing that you are taking amiodarone. Ask your doctor about this.
If a dose is missed:
If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are using medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as indinavir, Crixivan®), medicine for allergy symptoms (such as loratadine, Alavert®, or Claritin®), a stomach medicine (such as cimetidine, Tagamet®), medicine to treat depression (such as trazodone, Desyrel®), or medicine that weakens your immune system (such as cyclosporine, methotrexate, Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®, Folex®, or Rheumatrex®).
Tell your doctor if you are also using digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), lidocaine (Xylocaine®), other medicine for rhythm problems (such as disopyramide, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, Cardioquin®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, or Quinaglute®), medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, cholestyramine, simvastatin, Lipitor®, Questran® or Zocor®), a blood pressure medicine (such as diltiazem, propranolol, verapamil, Cardizem®, Inderal®, or Isoptin®), or a blood thinner (such as clopidogrel, warfarin, Coumadin®, or Plavix®).
Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using St. John's wort, medicine to treat an infection (such as clotrimazole, erythromycin, ketoconazole, rifampin, Biaxin®, Ciloxan®, Cipro®, Ery-tab®, Levaquin®, Nizoral®, Rifadin®, Rimactane®, Tequin®, or Zithromax®), narcotic pain medicine (such as fentanyl, Sublimaze®), seizure medicine (such as phenytoin, Dilantin®), or a cough medicine (such as dextromethorphan, Benylin®).
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease, heart disease (such as congestive heart failure), breathing problems or lung disease, eye or vision problems, high or low blood pressure, thyroid problems, or low potassium or magnesium in your blood.
Liver problems may occur while you are using this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: abdominal pain or tenderness; clay-colored stools; dark urine; decreased appetite; fever; headache; itching; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; skin rash; swelling of the feet or lower legs; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin.
Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Check with your doctor right away if you are having burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests.
This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds. After taking amiodarone for several months, your skin may look blue-gray in color, especially on areas exposed to sunlight.
Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. You may also need to have regular blood tests or eye examinations while you are using this medicine.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.