Anti-arrhythmic Agents

Amiodarone and Sotalol belong to a group of medicines used to treat cardiac diseases known as anti-arrhythmic agents.


​What is this medication used for​​

Amiodarone and Sotalol are usually used to control and prevent abnormal heartbeats from occurring.

Dosage and How to Use​​​

  • Take your medicines either before or after meals with water.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label.
  • Take your medicines at the same time every day.
  • Do not stop taking your medicines without checking with your doctors.
  • ​If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Side Effects, Precautions, Contraindication​

What are the possible side effects of the medicines?​

In rare cases, these medicines may cause new abnormal heartbeats or worsen current abnormal heartbeats, which may be dangerous. You may experience severe slowing or stopping of your heartbeat, severe giddiness or fainting spells.

Side effects of Sotalol

  • Fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and feeling breathless
  • Problems with sexual intercourse
  • Back pain and rashes
  • Visual problems such as eye irritation, blurred vision or worsening of your eyesight
  • Irregular heartbeat

Side effects of Amiodarone

This medicine can affect many other parts of the body. So it is very important that you keep to your appointments with your doctor

Lung problems:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough that does not go away
  • Chest pain

Liver problems:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Yellowing of eyes or skin (Jaundice)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting

Thyroid problems (depending on thyroid levels):

  • More sensitive to heat or cold
  • Weight gain or loss

Eye problems:

  • Change in vision
  • Eye pain

Heart problems:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness

Nerve problems:

  • Numbness, tingling or painful sensations on hands, legs or feet

Skin problems:

  • Blue-grey skin discoloration
  • ​More sensitive to sunlight

How do I know if I am allergic to these medicines?​​

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

​If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medicine immediately and see your doctor.

What precautions should I follow when taking the medicines?​​​​

Make sure you are on regular follow up with your doctor.

There are several other medicines that interact with these medicines. Please check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal products.

If you are taking an antacid that contains aluminum or magnesium hydroxide, take it 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take sotalol.

Please make sure that the doctor who treats you knows that you are on any of these medicines.

Avoid taking grapefruit or grapefruit juice when taking amiodarone.

There is not much information on using these medicines in pregnant women. Therefore, they should be used during pregnancy only when they are clearly needed.

These medicines are distributed into breast milk. As this medicine can cause serious side effects in babies who breast-fed, you should stop breast-feeding your baby when you take this medicine.

Handling and Storage​​​   

  • Keep your medicines in the original container or packaging, tightly closed or sealed in a cool and dry place.
  • Keep the medicine out of reach of children.
  • Throw away all expired medicines.

​​These medicines have been proven to be safe and effective, but they can cause serious injury if a mistake happens while taking them. This means that it is very important for you to know about these medicines and take them exactly as directed.​

This article answers some common questions about this medicine. It does not contain all the available information. It also does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.



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