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amiodarone (injection)

Pronunciation: A mi OH da rone

Brand: Nexterone

What is the most important information I should know about amiodarone injection?

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Amiodarone injection is for use only in life-threatening situations. This medication has the potential to cause side effects that could be fatal, and you will receive your injection in a hospital setting.

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You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to amiodarone or iodine, or if you have a serious heart condition such as "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker) or a history of slow heart beats.

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Do not receive amiodarone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about your health conditions or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your thyroid and liver function may also need to be tested, and you may need eye exams and chest x-rays. Visit your doctor regularly.

Amiodarone takes a long time to completely clear from your body. You may continue to have side effects from amiodarone after you stop using it. Drug interactions are also possible for up to several months after you stop using the medication. Talk to your doctor before taking any medication during this time. Keep track of how long it has been since your last dose of amiodarone.

What is amiodarone injection?

Amiodarone is an antiarrhythmic medication that affects the rhythm of heartbeats.

Amiodarone is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with life-threatening heart rhythm disorders of the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow out of the heart). Amiodarone is used to treat or prevent ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.

Amiodarone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using amiodarone injection?

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Amiodarone injection is for use only in life-threatening situations. This medication has the potential to cause side effects that could be fatal, and you will receive your injection in a hospital setting.

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You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to amiodarone or iodine, or if you have:

  • certain serious heart conditions, especially "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker); or
  • a history of slow heart beats that have caused you to faint.
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If possible before you receive amiodarone injection, tell your doctor if you have:

  • breathing problems or 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);
  • if you have recently been ill with vomiting or diarrhea; or
  • if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator implanted in your chest.
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FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use amiodarone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

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Amiodarone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while receiving this medication.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated with amiodarone injection to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medication.

How is amiodarone injection given?

Amiodarone is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting where your heart can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects. Amiodarone injection must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take from 48 to 96 hours or longer to complete. Amiodarone injection is often given directly into a large vein in the upper chest (central IV line).

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your thyroid and liver function may also need to be tested, and you may need eye exams and chest x-rays. Visit your doctor regularly.

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If you need surgery (including laser eye surgery), tell the surgeon ahead of time that you have received amiodarone injection.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain thyroid tests, even after you stop using it. Tell any doctor who treats you that you have received amiodarone injection.

After treatment with amiodarone injection, your doctor may switch you to a tablet form of this medication. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions for amiodarone oral.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include weakness, slow heart rate, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while using amiodarone injection?

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Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with amiodarone and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

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Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Amiodarone can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What are the possible side effects of amiodarone injection?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

You may continue to have side effects from amiodarone after you stop using it. It could take up to several months for the medicine to completely clear from your body.

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Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects, even if they occur up to several months after you stop using amiodarone:

  • a new or a worsening irregular heartbeat pattern;
  • fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • wheezing, cough, chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood;
  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion, swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • blurred vision, vision loss, headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with vomiting;
  • swelling, pain, redness, or irritation around your IV needle;
  • weight loss, thinning hair, feeling too hot or too cold, increased sweating, irregular menstrual periods, swelling in your neck (goiter);
  • pain in your upper stomach, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • low fever;
  • slight dizziness; or
  • mild nausea, vomiting.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect amiodarone injection?

Many drugs can interact with amiodarone. Below is only a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • clopidogrel (Plavix);
  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);
  • dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter cough medicine);
  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
  • fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Ionsys, Lazanda, Onsolis);
  • loratadine (Claritin Alavert);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin);
  • St. John's wort;
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • a diuretic (water pill);
  • an antibiotic such as azithromycin (Zithromax), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), levofloxacin (Levaquin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater, Rifamate), telithromycin (Ketek), and others;
  • an antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • an antidepressant such as nefazodone or trazodone (Desyrel);
  • arthritis medication such as diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Solareze) or piroxicam (Feldene);
  • cholesterol-lowering medicines such as cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran), atorvastatin (Lipitor, Caduet), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin, Juvisync), and others;
  • heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia), nicardipine (Cardene), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
  • heart rhythm medication such as disopyramide (Norpace), flecainide (Tambocor), quinidine (Quin-G), or procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl);
  • insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth; or
  • medication to treat HIV or AIDS.
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This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can cause serious drug interactions with amiodarone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Amiodarone takes a long time to completely clear from your body, and drug interactions are possible for up to several months after you stop using amiodarone injection. Talk to your doctor before taking any medication during this time. Keep track of how long it has been since your last dose of amiodarone.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about amiodarone injection.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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