Amiodarone fear

Hello I am new to this forum. I live in Newport, Gwent and hope to meet up with some of you from this area/Cardiff soon. I have been on warfarin for 6 weeks with no adverse effects and also Bisoprolol - 10mg daily, prescribed by my GP. I had my first appt with a Cardiologist at the Gwent in Newport last Monday. He has written to my GP asking him to prescribe Amiodarone prior to my having a Cardiversion as he said the results would be better if I was on this drug. Having Googled it I am incredibly worried about the side effects and of the procedure itself. I am expecting only bad responses as this drug sounds horrendous and I really don't want to take it. Help!!

12 Replies

  • there were some other posts recently about this- well worth you looking at. Some shared your fears- others, see BobD's answer, felt it might be used for short term needs- I'm sure they will reply to you soon

  • thank you RosyG

  • Yes for sure it can have some nasty affects but it is very useful short term when used in conjunction with a cardioversion. It may well help this to "hold" long enough to find out if you feel better in normal sinus rhythm (NSR). When I say short term I would say three to six months although I know of people who used to be on it for years. You should have regular checks anyway so try not to focus on bad things but look forward to feeling better. .

    Regarding the cardioversion itself this is really a non event and many of us have had several. You go into the anti-room of an operating theatre where you will have a canula put into your arm. You will have two pads stuck on, either one each side of your chest or one front and one back and then they put fairy juice into the canula. Whist you are away playing with the fairies they shock your heart back into rhythm and when you wake up a few minutes later you should feel much better. You may in some cases feel a little sunburnt where the pads were but some good cream sorts this out in a day or so.

  • Thank you BobD. I have had bouts of AF for three years, but it seems to have come to stay this time. Maybe the drug will be OK short term and the procedure doesn't sound too bad. Good to have some reassurance as have got into a bit of a state worrying about it all, which makes it worse!!

  • Key is to have full set of blood tests before you start not only to monitor amioderone but also to provide a sound baseline on your af journey.

    Then blood tests one month after starting amioderone then blood tests three months after starting it (ie two months after second).

  • Good morning Amyrosie - I know someone who took Amiodarone for 8 years with no problems. In that time he had no checks whatsoever, he wasn't very pleased when he found out he should have been monitored. He was also one of those people who never read the instruction leaflet with his medication so hadn't stayed out of the sun. In winter he still looked as though he had a tan and I suppose you would call his complexion 'ruddy'.

    Several years ago I took Amiodarone for about 12 months and felt a little better on it, but it did upset my thyroid a little and I'm still having checks on that years later. I would try and make sure you're only on it for a short time. Flecainide has been my wonder drug and I know it has been for a lot of people on this site.

    I've had lots of cardioversions and trust me, there is nothing to them. In fact I'm overjoyed if when my heart is racing constantly I'm sent for one. You go in feeling unwell and wake up cured!! Its a wonderful feeling.

    Best wishes


  • Make sure that your GP understands that your Warfarin dosage has to be reduced when starting Amiodarone. My INR quickly went from 2.4 to 3.9 as it was not reduced.

  • I'm biased when it comes to Amiodarone and Dronedarone. You will need a baseline blood check before you start taking it and monitoring for liver function at the intervals stated in the sheet that comes with the medication. You will probably develop a cough that may be benign, or not in some rare cases. An oximeter that fits on your finger and measures your blood oxygen (SpO2) is a good device to use at home to measure whether there is an adverse affect on your lungs. An oximeter costs around£30 and will be available at Amazon and other retailers. Measure before you start taking it and daily if you have a cough.

  • Hi, I was placed on amiodarone when I was diagnosed with afib 3 years ago. I was on the medication for a year and I was perfectly okay. The only side effect I got was I couldn't go out in the sun. And still to this day I can't without burning within 5 minutes. I'm on the warfrin and bisoporol 10mg also. Plus ramipril 5mg, digoxen 250 and spironolactone 50mg. So you should be okay.

    I said no to the cardioversion as they only had one shot at fixing my afib with this due to my heart condition and I thought the ablation would be a better choice.

    I have read others having this done a fair few times on here and it works for them, if not they go on to have the ablation done. Which most people recommend.

    I hope you get rid of your afib soon. I still have mine as I couldn't have the ablation in the end and I know how you feel. My afib attacks can last all night, upto 5 nights a week I have them and they're a nightmare.


  • On Amiodarone for 2 weeks now and feeling good. Like you I was worried about the side effects, but so far so good ;-)

  • Hi Scool - as this post was 3 months ago I am wondering how you are getting on with the Amiodarone now and has it helped you??

  • I think the Amiodarone has helped. I had cardioversion back in Feb and have been told that my heart is now out of persistent AF, although not quite right - too slow. The cardiologist has reduced by beta-blockers to try and overcome this as he thinks the meds are causing the slow rhythm. He thinks I should reduce the beta-blockers rather than the Amiodarone as it seems to be doing me good and [touch wood] I have not had any side effects. I'm just dreading the nice sunny days with all the sun block I'll have to wear.

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