Amiodarone comes as a tablet or injection and is prescribed to help control irregular heart rhythms. The individual dosage of amiodarone will be determined based on which particular form of the medication being used, the severity of your arrhythmia, and various other factors. The initial doses are usually given in a hospital, where you can be carefully monitored and the amount can be adjusted as needed.
An Introduction to Your Amiodarone DoseThe dose of amiodarone (Cordarone®, Pacerone®, Nexterone®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The particular amiodarone product being used
- How you respond to the medication
- The severity and type of arrhythmia being treated
- Whether you develop side effects.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
Dosing Guidelines for Amiodarone Tablets
The recommended initial amiodarone dosage for people taking the tablets is usually between 800 mg and 1600 mg a day. This is called the loading dose. The exact loading dose will vary from person to person.
Amiodarone is started in the hospital, where the loading dose will continue to be given until a healthcare provider determines that the arrhythmia is adequately controlled. This usually takes one to three weeks (occasionally longer for some people).
Once the arrhythmia is adequately controlled, the amiodarone dosage will be reduced to 600 mg to 800 mg a day for about one month. It will then be reduced again to the maintenance dose. Most people can be adequately controlled on a maintenance dose of 400 mg. However, some people may require higher amounts (up to 600 mg) while others may be adequately controlled on lower amounts.
Your healthcare provider will try to find the lowest effective maintenance dose that controls your arrhythmia. This is because higher doses increase your risk for side effects. It may take several adjustments to find the right dose for you. It is important that you let your healthcare provider know about any symptoms you may be experiencing.
If you experience intolerable or dangerous side effects, your healthcare provider may recommend you take a lower dose of amiodarone, or tell you to stop taking the medicine altogether. Because a reduction could cause your arrhythmia to return, you may need to be hospitalized while your amount is adjusted. Your healthcare provider may also want to check your amiodarone blood levels if you are not responding to the medication, or if you experience unexpected serious side effects.