WHAT AMIODARONE TABLETS ARE AND WHAT THEY ARE USED FOR
Amiodarone Tablets belong to a group of medicines called anti-arrhythmics. They are used when the heartbeat is very irregular or very fast.
They are only used for serious conditions which do not respond to other treatments or when other treatments cannot be used. Treatment with amiodarone is normally under hospital or specialist supervision.
BEFORE YOU TAKE AMIODARONE TABLETS
Do not take Amiodarone Tablets
•If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to amiodarone or any of the other ingredients of Amiodarone tablets.
•If you have heart block – which may cause a very slow, very fast or irregular pulse or dizziness?
•If you are allergic to iodine
•If you have thyroid problems or have not yet had your thyroid function tested
•If you are taking certain medicines (see “Taking other medicines”)
•If you are pregnant or breast feeding
Take special care with Amiodarone Tablets
Tell your doctor before taking these tablets if any of the following apply to you:
•If you are elderly
•If you are exposed to sunlight for long periods (see section 4, Possible Side Effects)
•If you are going to have an operation,If you have heart failure
•If you have a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator
•If you take high doses of amiodarone or are elderly and suffer from a very slow heart rate
•If you have been taking amiodarone for long periods, as your doctor may need to monitor you to avoid delayed side effects
•If you suffer from blurred or decreased vision
•If you have liver problems
•If you suffer from nerve or muscular disorders
•If you have sudden shortness of breath or a dry cough.
Your doctor may want to arrange tests such as blood tests, chest x-rays and eye examinations before and during treatment with these tablets
Taking other medicines
The effects of amiodarone can be altered by other medicines and the effects of the other medicines can be changed by amiodarone. Please check with your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
•Certain antibiotics called fluoroquinolones (e.g. moxifloxacin)
•Medicines used to thin the blood (particularly warfarin)
•Phonation (for epilepsy),Tolbutamide (for diabetes),Aspirin,Fentanyl (a strong painkiller)
•Diuretics (water tablets),Digoxin (used for heart problems).
•Beta blockers (used to treat high blood pressure, angina or an irregular heart beat) e.g. atenolol and propranolol – you must NOT take amiodarone if you are taking sotalol
•Certain medicines to treat high blood pressure and angina (chest pain) e.g. verapamil and diltiazem
•Medicines used to treat irregular heartbeats (e.g. quinidine, disopyramide, procainamide, and bretylium)
•Medicines used to treat psychiatric problems (e.g. chlorpromazine, thioridazine, fluphenazine, amisulpiride, pimozide and haloperidol)
•Cyclosporine and tacrolimus (used after transplant operations)
•Oral steroids, e.g. prednisolone
•Stimulant laxatives (e.g. dantron or bisacodyl) which may cause low levels of potassium in the blood
Please tell you doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
Taking Amiodarone Tablets with food and drink
You should AVOID drinking grapefruit juice whilst on treatment with Amiodarone Tablets.
Grapefruit juice contains some substances that can change the way these tablets work.
You should limit the amount of alcohol you drink whilst taking these tablets.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant, likely to become pregnant, or are breast feeding.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Driving and using machines
Amiodarone can cause eye disorders and blurred vision. If you are affected do not drive or operate machinery
HOW TO TAKE AMIODARONE TABLETS
Always take Amiodarone Tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water.
Amiodarone Tablets can be taken with or without food.
The usual dose is one 200mg tablet taken three times a day for the first week, followed by one 200mg tablet taken twice a day for the next week and then one 200mg taken daily.
In some patients this may be reduced to one 100mg tablet taken each day
Elderly patients may be prescribed lower doses. Your doctor will decide the correct dose for you.
Children and adolescents:
There are only limited data on the efficacy and safety in children. Your doctor will decide on an appropriate dose.
Keep taking your medicine until your doctor tells you to stop. Do not stop taking it because you feel better
If you take more Amiodarone Tablets than you should
If you have taken too many tablets tell your doctor or go to the nearest hospital casualty department IMMEDIATELY. Take this leaflet and any remaining tablets with you so the doctor knows what you have taken.
If you forget to take Amiodarone Tablets
If you forget a dose takes it as soon as you remember. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Like all medicines, Amiodarone Tablets can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
You should contact your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following symptoms, as you may have to stop taking the tablets:
•Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes)
•Extreme restlessness and / or loss of weight
•Extreme tiredness and / or weight increase
•Persistent cough and / or shortness of breath or fever
•Pins and needles, weakness of hands or legs, cramps and loss of balance
•Problems with your eyesight
•Problems with the rhythm of the heart including palpitations (heart flutter) or chest pain
Exposure to sunlight: Amiodarone can cause some patients to become sensitive to the sun or may cause a discoloration of the skin or a rash. You should avoid exposure of your skin to direct sunlight or sunlamps. You should take sensible precautions when you are in the sun such as wearing a wide brimmed hat and keeping arms and legs covered. Use a total sun block cream for exposed areas of skin. Occasionally, amiodarone may cause a grey or blue discoloration of skin exposed to light. If you are sensitive to the sun, then this may persist for some time after treatment stops.
The following side effects have also been reported.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you get any troublesome symptoms which you think might be side effects.
Very common side effects (probably affecting more than 1 in 10 people)
•A metallic taste
•Sensitivity to light.
Common side effects (probably affecting fewer than 1 in 10 people)
•Liver problems (enlarged liver, jaundice, liver failure)
•Disturbed sleep patterns
•Shortness of breath
Uncommon side effects (probably affecting fewer than 1 in 100 people)
•Difficulty balancing and walking
•Muscle pain and weakness
•Irregular pulse / dizziness
Very rare side effects (probably affecting fewer than 1 in 10,000 people)
•Anemia,Very slow pulse,Chronic liver disease,Progressive blindness,Impotence
•Headache,Painful swelling of the testicles,Vertigo (dizziness)
•Skin rashes,Hair loss
•Scaly and flaking skin
•Inflammation of the veins and problems with the blood (you may notice bruising or nose bleeds).
If any of the side effects get serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.
HOW TO STORE AMIODARONE TABLETS
Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
Do not use Amiodarone Tablets after the expiry date which is stated on the carton after EXP.
The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Do not store above 25°C. Store in the original package.
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste.
Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required.
These measures will help to protect the environment.