What Is Amiodarone Used For?

How Does It Work?

Amiodarone belongs to a group of medications known as antiarrhythmics. Most antiarrhythmic medications are further categorized using a system known as the Vaughn-Williams classification system. This system divides the medications into four general classes based on how they work.
 
Amiodarone is considered a Class III antiarrhythmic. However, it has properties of all four classes and therefore works in several different ways. The most important way it works is by its Class III antiarrhythmic actions.
 
Class III antiarrhythmic medications block potassium channels in the heart, preventing potassium from leaving the cells of the heart muscle. This action prolongs the heart's refractory period, which is the period of time the heart cells will not respond to a new electrical signal. By extending the refractory period, amiodarone helps the heart tissue resist any electrical signal that is trying to come through prematurely and tells the heart to beat too soon.
 

Alternatives to Amiodarone

The antiarrhythmic class of medicines represents a large group of drugs that work in different ways to help restore and maintain the normal rhythm of the heart. These medicines are usually divided into four types, or "classes," based on the way they work in the body.
 
In general, many of the Class I and Class III antiarrhythmics can be used as alternatives to amiodarone. However, the list of actual possible alternatives for each individual situation will depend on several factors, including the specific arrhythmia being treated, how serious the arrhythmia is, and other medical conditions a person may have.
 
Class I antiarrhythmics that could be potential substitutes for amiodarone include:
 
 
Class III antiarrhythmics that could be alternatives to amiodarone include:
 
 
If you are looking for an alternative to amiodarone, you should talk to your healthcare provider. He or she knows your situation best and can talk to you about medicines that may be options for you.
 
Ouch! 6 Types of Pain You Might Experience When Getting a Stent

Amiodarone HCl Drug Information

Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.