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What does it do?

Amiodarone is used to treat and prevent irregular heartbeats.

How should you take it?

Take amiodarone regularly as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Several medicines can react with amiodarone, sometimes with severe results. Please talk to your pharmacist or doctor before using any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Change in heartbeat, chest pain, fainting

Short of breath, persistent dry cough

Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain, easy/unusual bruising or bleeding

Headache, changes in vision, pounding in one or both ears (may be intracranial hypertension)

Blurred vision

Tell your doctor immediately

Tingling or numbness

Loss of co-ordination/walking or handwriting problems, strange or uncontrolled movements

Unexplained weight gain or loss, sensitivity to cold or heat

Tell your doctor

Nausea, vomiting, change of appetite, constipation

Changes in taste or smell

Tiredness or weakness, dizziness, trouble sleeping

Less interest in sex

Change in skin colour (blue, grey, purple), increased sensitivity to sunlight

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have thyroid, lung, liver, eye or other heart problems, an iodine allergy, or porphyria.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Protect yourself from too much sunlight while being treated with amiodarone. Always cover up and apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) when outside. Do not use sunbeds.
  • Grapefruit, grapefruit juice or sour/Seville oranges may react with amiodarone. Discuss with your pharmacist.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. June 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed