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Readers Respond: How Did You Decide To Take or Not Take Amiodarone?

Responses: 207


Updated April 21, 2010

From the article: Amiodarone
Amiodarone is the most effective antiarrhythmic drug that has ever been developed, but unfortunately, it can also be uniquely toxic. The combination of "very effective" and "unique toxicity" makes the decision as to whether to use amiodarone a difficult one, for both the doctor and the patient.

Tell us about the decision process that was used in your own case that led you and your doctor to decide for, or against, taking amiodarone. Your experience may help others who are going through that same decision process today. Deciding On Amiodarone

Deciding on Amiodorone

For me there was no briefing on any or all side effects. Female cardiologist pops into the room suggests Ami, and off we go. Four to six months of this before I could get anyones attention that something bad is happening. As mentioned in previous letter, inability to walk any distance before lungs give out as do the legs, peobably from the lack of 02. Stopped Ami and given a therapy of prednisone for about six months. This did not help at all. Had to cancel Whipple Procedure for pancreatic cancer beecause I was positive the lungs would not stand the six hour surgery. So now I have estimated 6 to 12 months left. Listen up, people, Amiodorone is not the answer, just a possible last resort!
—Guest Paul

has been good to me

started amiodarone 3/8/2004. Have had very little problems with medication. Used 200MG dose for past 10 years. Has controlled my Afib very well. Have not seen my cardiologists in 7 years. Have an appointment with in in April. Should see your cardiologists on annual basis.
—Guest Jim

not even trying.

Just had successful ablation for my 50% of time A fib. Doc prscibed this on top to be sure it doesnt come back after reading the experiences on here I want no parts of drug, as I value my lungs, eyes and skin. Will never take!
—Guest joe

How i ended up on Amiodarone.

after several paddle procedures and three ablations my cardio put me on ami and said he had never seen anyone who had been adversely affected by taking ami i had been on ami a couple of years earlier but after researching possigle side effects i asked to be taken off ami as shortly after starting the medication i was back in AF it did not do the trick. As a result here i am more than two years later, having suffered two bouts of pneumonia blown up like a big balloon feeling awful can't breathe properly at times and telling the doctor about my concerns on several occasions he finally sent me for blood tests now on thyro treatment but as yet i have not had any other check ups . I think i should have other tests because ami is known to affect other organs in the body........do you think that i should ask for chcks.?

Do not rely on Doctors

I was found to have A-Fib and Dr. immediately put me on Amiodarone and almost killed me. Had all side effects and got toxic. I am still searching for a good doctor. Found another one that did a RFA operation and it did not work. Wondering if the drug was still in my body. I would never recommend this drug to any one. There are also other ones they tried and I still got toxic on them. These heart medications are a poke in the dark. If you are really that bad, just get a pace maker as I am now about to request. You should do diligent research on your own and search for a doctor that will listen to you and accept that you know your body better than any one. They can kill you with medication, just like your diagnosis.
—Guest Just Plain Stupid

Amiodarone: Caused pulmonary fibrosis?

When getting a pacemaker check, it was noticed that I was in Afib. I felt nothing amiss. Suggested ami, the other doctor present disagreed. Given ami anyway. Four months later I had trouble breathing, and still do. I never had any idea it might have been the ami causing this, until my internist mentioned "amiodarone toxicity". I went to the computer and found that I should have been breifed on the side effects of ami. I have been misdiagnosed as having asthma, bronchitis, Copd, emphysema, finally pulmonary fibrosis. I have been in rehab for this, finding that there is no cure, just treatment and after three months of rehab, did not feel any better. I still cannot walk much more than fifty yards with severe puffing and panting. To add a little more to the game, I have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, will have surgery in less than two weeks. Do hope the pulmonary fibrosis will not be a hinderance with the surgery. Incidentally, I flew on KC-135 tankers for 27 years.
—Guest Paul

Decided to not take it

I was not aware of any of these side affects and wasn't briefed on it's dangers by my cardiologist which is very surprising. I believe it was cause he knows how no feel about meds and it wasn't negligent. I will live with my heart stuff till it's time to not live with it.
—Guest Joe


I suffer terrible palpitations so been on this drug for 2 months with very little side effects so far.
—Guest leonora

On it for 18 months and good so far...

I'm 54 and have had Afib/Atrial flutter off and on since I was 25. Started getting worse about 5 yrs ago, had 4 ablation attempts. They did not help. The Amio was started at 400mg/day for 2 weeks, then maintenance dose at 200 mg/day. Took 6 mo's to stop arrhythmias. I've been arrhythmia-free now for nearly a year and feel fine- but am staying on top of lung, ocular, thyroid and liver tests. I did have a tremor event a few days ago, so that does have me a bit worried…Anyway, I've stayed out of the ER thanks to this med. I think key is for physicians to not go too heavy on the loading dose- looks like that has hurt some folks...
—Guest FSF

had to take amiodarone

Was taken to hospital with racing heart and given Amiodarone at that time. Have developed quite bad acid reflux.
—Guest Eddie Chiudioni

Deciding on amiodarone

Been on 200mg for 2yrs and only issue is extended periods in direct sunlite or core body temp escalation in temps over thirty Celsius which causes me sever heat stroke issues. Other than slow heart rhythm and resting pulse rate of 53 it does the job for me. Had a CABG in 2011 and atrial fib issues as well so until something less better relative to sun exposure appears amio will do me
—Guest John Fletcher

Almost died

My doctor prescribed amiodarone and with the first dose I projectile vomited and then passed out. With a caution note in place in all my medical records, another cardiothoracic surgeon prescribed amiodarone after I had a mini-maze procedure. It almost cost me my life. Since I was in the hospital and my chart specifically and clearly warned against amiodarone, I trusted none would be prescribed or given. However, that trust was misplaced and I almost died. Within minutes, my blood pressure plumpted, I passed out and a "code blue" was issued. As I regained a wavering consciousness, I could hear the nurse saying "We're losing her." A heart specialist responded to the code blue and used heart shock paddles. Obviously I survived, but I would NEVER LET ANYONE IN MY FAMILY BE GIVEN THIS DRUG. The side effects are frequent and dire.


I had afib in 2007 and got a pacemaker which my heart doesn't use. My Cardiologist then put me on Amioderone and told me it was for 1 year only then he would do an ablation. After the year he said I was doing fine and the ablations had risks too. So, at the end of the 2nd year, my lungs were giving me trouble and I told him I was stopping amioderone. He said that they had developed Dronedrone which removed the Iodine and was lung safe. Since 2009 I have been taking MULTAQ and now my lungs are failing. The VA indpenantly tested them and told me I had emphasima. I have never smoked and never been in a mine. I did fly off of an asbestos insulated aircraft Carrier during the Korean War, briefly. I will be 84 on October 29, 2013. Looking back, I feel that as a White Rat or Guinnie Pig for these medications, I have been a success?) However, after 4 years on MULTAQ THERE SHOULD BE SOMETHING BETTER. (My pacemaker records very few, brief, Afib occurrences)
—Guest John R Campbell


just given this prescription,reluctant because of the side affects
—Guest john posey

Put On Amio After Ablation

I was taking Diltiazem, for years for My high blood pressure. I did not develop A-fib until I was hospitalized for Diverticulitis. 8 days in ICU to get the A-fib under control. Was put on Flecanide along with the diltiazem. The dosages of both were changed numerous times, but I did not notice improvement until I stopped taking the flecanide (4 days prior to my scheduled ablation) Prior to the ablation, was diagnosed by a different cardiologist at the hospital with sick sinus syndrome, also a-flutter and a 3 second pause in my heart beat. The doctor doing the ablation was informed of this new diagnosis and I told him, if the ablation meant I would have to be on more or different meds, I did not want it done. My a-fib was not life threatening. I woke up after My ablation, with an iv drip of Amio going through me, was sent home with a prescription for 3 months. I'm afraid of this. already have a thyroid problem, asthma. having SSS You are not supposed to be on amio.

Deciding On Amiodarone

How Did You Decide To Take or Not Take Amiodarone?

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