Cordarone X intravenous contains the active ingredient amiodarone, which is a type of medicine called an antiarrhythmic. (NB. Amiodarone injection is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.) Amiodarone is used to control abnormal heartbeats.
The heart's pumping action is controlled by electrical signals that pass through the heart muscle. The electrical signals cause the two pairs of heart chambers (left and right atria and ventricles) to contract in a regular manner that produces the heartbeat. If the electrical activity in the heart is disturbed for any reason, irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) of various types can result. These can seriously undermine the pumping action of the heart and result in inefficient blood circulation around the body.
Amiodarone works by slowing down the electrical impulses in the heart muscle. This helps to regulate and restore disturbances in the heart rhythm.
Amiodarone is used to treat a variety of different types of fast, abnormal heart rhythms (these are known as tachyarrhythmias). It is used for severe rhythm disorders when other treatments are not effective or cannot be used.
Amiodarone is given by a drip into a vein (intravenous infusion) or by injection into a vein when a rapid response is required in an emergency, for example in people having a heart attack. As soon as an adequate response is obtained, treatment with the injection is phased out and treatment with amiodarone tablets is started if necessary. Amiodarone injection may also be given if a person cannot take medicines by mouth.
NB. Amiodarone can by given by injection in all these cases if it is being used in an emergency to treat a heart attack.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction to this medicine, inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist. For other side effects of longer-term amiodarone treatment see the Cordarone X tablets factsheet.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while having treatment with this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
It takes a long time for amiodarone to be removed from the body and interactions with other medicines are therefore still possible for several weeks or even months after stopping treatment.
There may be an increased risk of the heart beating too slowly if the following medicines are used in combination with amiodarone:
If any of the following medicines are taken with amiodarone they may increase the risk of an abnormal heart rhythm, seen on a heart monitoring trace (ECG) as a 'prolonged QT interval'. As this could increase the risk of an irregular heartbeat called Torsades de Pointes, these medicines must not be taken with amiodarone:
The following medicines are not recommended for use in combination with amiodarone because they may lower the amount of potassium or magnesium in the blood, which could increase the risk of side effects on the heart:
Amiodarone may increase the blood levels of the following medicines. If you are taking one of these in combination with amiodarone your doctor may need to prescribe you a lower dose and/or perform extra monitoring:
The anti-blood-clotting effect of anticoagulants such as warfarin or phenindione may be increased by amiodarone. For this reason, if you are taking an anticoagulant your doctor may want to check your blood-clotting time (INR) when you start or stop treatment with amiodarone, and if your amiodarone dose is altered.
Protease inhibitors for HIV infection, such as saquinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir or fosamprenavir, may increase the amount of amiodarone in the blood and could therefore increase the chance of its side effects.
|Cordarone X tablets|
Amiodarone tablets and injection are also available as the generic medicine, ie without a brand name.