As an antiarrhythmia medication, amiodarone (Cordarone®, Pacerone®, Nexterone®) is prescribed to help treat certain irregular heartbeats called ventricular arrhythmias. It comes in the form of a tablet and as an injection. Amiodarone injections are given slowly through a tube inserted into the vein (an intravenous, or IV, infusion). The tablets are usually taken by mouth once daily.
Your individual dosage of amiodarone will depend on the severity of your heart arrhythmia, other medications you are taking, and various other factors.
You will start treatment in a hospital, where a healthcare provider can closely monitor you. You will likely need to stay in the hospital for one to three weeks. When receiving amiodarone injections, the initial dosage is about 1000 mg given as a continuous infusion over a 24-hour period. After your arrhythmia is adequately controlled, you will be switched over to amiodarone tablets.
(For more details on these tablets and injections, click Amiodarone. This Web selection takes a closer look at this medication, including how it works, why some people may not be able to use it, and potential side effects.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Amiodarone injection [package insert]. Lake Forest, IL: Bioniche Pharma USA, LLC.;2010 May.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 22, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 22 2012.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed June 22, 2012.
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