Has anyone stopped amiodarone and replaced it with a different drug?

Posted by ashby1947 @ashby1947, Dec 5, 2020

After about 10 weeks on amiodarone (for SVT), I stopped taking it because of very unpleasant side effects. My cardiologist put me on an additional clonidine patch (total 2). Now I'm weaning off clonidine patch, one at a time due to bad side effects and uncontrolled HP. I have started hydralazine 25 mg TID hoping the BP will be better controlled with manageable side effects. If you have weaned off amiodarone, what have you replaced it with? Was the transition smooth?

Thank you for any experiences you care to share. I hope today is a good day for you! Sue

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Does anyone know if there is an alternative for amiodarone? Some devastating side effects!

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@breathe43

Does anyone know if there is an alternative for amiodarone? Some devastating side effects!

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I would love an answer to this as well. Great drip for its purpose— horrible side-effects!

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@breathe43

Does anyone know if there is an alternative for amiodarone? Some devastating side effects!

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@marywh Hi and yes I was also on Mexiletine and when things got really bad I was on both but I know Amiodirone seems to be the go to med.

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@breathe43

Does anyone know if there is an alternative for amiodarone? Some devastating side effects!

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@breathe43 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! Glad you could join us. You will see that I moved your comment to a discussion where several members are discussing amiodarone alternatives.

Can you share how long you have been on the medication and what side effects you are experiencing?

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Here is what I read about how Amiodarone got approved in the US. Prior to it’s approval, doctors here were getting free samples from European pharmaceutical companies. In 1985, those companies threatened to stop sending samples unless the FDA approved the drug. Well, later in 1985 the FDA approved it. According to the article, Amiodarone is one of the few drugs approved without randomized clinical trials. Hmmm.
The article was from a European cardiology journal. If you google “how was Amiodarone approved in the us?” it probably will come up.

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Good afternoon, I just read your comment. Would you or anyone reading this please let me know all the side effects you are having? I went to the ER(Abib) first of March 2022 and was never released home till May 2022. This is all new to me. The Cardio Drs. have me on Amiodarone, Eliquis, Toprol, and Requip plus others added to the meds I was already taking. Took me off Procardia which I have been taking for years. Now that I am home I have all these side effects and can not get much done. My angiogram was clean, living the good country life said one Cardio Dr. My BP runs low most of the time. Here goes: weight loss, hair thinning, restlessness, dizziness, occ. nosebleed, fatigue, ringing in my ears, now have broken out with small pimples, trouble sleeping, and off-balance. Never had these symptoms before.

Now, I have no idea which Cardio Dr. ordered these drugs and when but my PCP is supposed to oversee and manage my meds. Finally got his attention and now have an appt. to see him to figure this out. I would really like some first-hand experience from someone taking any of these drugs as to side effects that can occur and maybe get rid of them. I have never in my life been useless like this. Really hard! KLH

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@kilh

Good afternoon, I just read your comment. Would you or anyone reading this please let me know all the side effects you are having? I went to the ER(Abib) first of March 2022 and was never released home till May 2022. This is all new to me. The Cardio Drs. have me on Amiodarone, Eliquis, Toprol, and Requip plus others added to the meds I was already taking. Took me off Procardia which I have been taking for years. Now that I am home I have all these side effects and can not get much done. My angiogram was clean, living the good country life said one Cardio Dr. My BP runs low most of the time. Here goes: weight loss, hair thinning, restlessness, dizziness, occ. nosebleed, fatigue, ringing in my ears, now have broken out with small pimples, trouble sleeping, and off-balance. Never had these symptoms before.

Now, I have no idea which Cardio Dr. ordered these drugs and when but my PCP is supposed to oversee and manage my meds. Finally got his attention and now have an appt. to see him to figure this out. I would really like some first-hand experience from someone taking any of these drugs as to side effects that can occur and maybe get rid of them. I have never in my life been useless like this. Really hard! KLH

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Hi KLH, I'm a former taker of Amiodroine I was taking for many years for Heart rhythm problems of Vintricular Tachycardia. So I took it for almost 10 years as a pill and it served me well. As my heart got worse I ended up in the hospital where due to the frequent heart arrhythmia I was put on an IV version at a very high dose. It wasn't recommended but it was the only thing keeping me alive as I waited for either a solution to my Heart rhythm problems or a Heart became available for transplant. Now I say this to hopefully put your mind at ease as they figure things out. Now as for lung issues I was a former smoker and did quit but ended up with lifelong copd and ephisymia. But overall I don't have any lung problems that I was ever told of with Amiodroine. Now on a very high dose I did develop a toxicity to the IV type and was taken off of it but then I did receive a heart transplant which solved my problem and didn't need the Amiodroine anymore.
So bottom line is I was told that yes Amiodroine does have some side affects and one that I got was my thyroid became damaged and had to be removed but as my Cardiologist said its one if the best drugs for arrhythmia which are much worse than the side affects of the drug. I took it for almost 10 years with no major side affects and the thyroid problem happen right at the end . So I would say you have a bit of time to see what the issue is before the Amiodroine at least becomes a problem. Always good to Question these things tho. Let me know if I can help further.
Blessings

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@danab

Hi KLH, I'm a former taker of Amiodroine I was taking for many years for Heart rhythm problems of Vintricular Tachycardia. So I took it for almost 10 years as a pill and it served me well. As my heart got worse I ended up in the hospital where due to the frequent heart arrhythmia I was put on an IV version at a very high dose. It wasn't recommended but it was the only thing keeping me alive as I waited for either a solution to my Heart rhythm problems or a Heart became available for transplant. Now I say this to hopefully put your mind at ease as they figure things out. Now as for lung issues I was a former smoker and did quit but ended up with lifelong copd and ephisymia. But overall I don't have any lung problems that I was ever told of with Amiodroine. Now on a very high dose I did develop a toxicity to the IV type and was taken off of it but then I did receive a heart transplant which solved my problem and didn't need the Amiodroine anymore.
So bottom line is I was told that yes Amiodroine does have some side affects and one that I got was my thyroid became damaged and had to be removed but as my Cardiologist said its one if the best drugs for arrhythmia which are much worse than the side affects of the drug. I took it for almost 10 years with no major side affects and the thyroid problem happen right at the end . So I would say you have a bit of time to see what the issue is before the Amiodroine at least becomes a problem. Always good to Question these things tho. Let me know if I can help further.
Blessings

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Thanks for the quick reply. I also have COPD which they told me now but I was not aware of it. The last c-scran showed I have primary pulmonary hypertension along with the afib. Also, my TSH was high starting last November 2021 and climbing. This could be responsible for all my problems but no one caught it until rehab this Spring. I have only been home for about 2 months and maybe a month before that at extended care. Taking Amiodroine all this time. They changed Toprol to bedtime so when my BP drops, I am in bed.

So you have not had any side effects from Amiodroine? I am taking in am with breakfast that is when I get all these side effects and hardly can function. When I take it in the afternoon then no side effects are as bad but still are there. My PCP is so far out of the loop about who ordered the RX, when, and why. All Cardio says is to coordinate with your PCP even though, I see them regularly. I really would like to be able to function doing some household chores and maybe a little outside. No garden this year, so sad! If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment. You are the first to send a comment. Thanks so much and stay healthy. KLH

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@kilh

Thanks for the quick reply. I also have COPD which they told me now but I was not aware of it. The last c-scran showed I have primary pulmonary hypertension along with the afib. Also, my TSH was high starting last November 2021 and climbing. This could be responsible for all my problems but no one caught it until rehab this Spring. I have only been home for about 2 months and maybe a month before that at extended care. Taking Amiodroine all this time. They changed Toprol to bedtime so when my BP drops, I am in bed.

So you have not had any side effects from Amiodroine? I am taking in am with breakfast that is when I get all these side effects and hardly can function. When I take it in the afternoon then no side effects are as bad but still are there. My PCP is so far out of the loop about who ordered the RX, when, and why. All Cardio says is to coordinate with your PCP even though, I see them regularly. I really would like to be able to function doing some household chores and maybe a little outside. No garden this year, so sad! If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment. You are the first to send a comment. Thanks so much and stay healthy. KLH

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No I last took it in 2017 but I believe if memory serves I took it at night. Now I'm not as familiar with afib as mine was lower heart related but yes I don't remember any side effects that I could detect. I was also on another amti arrhythmia medication I felt for me was also helping it was Mexiltine which was very strick on when you took it. I was on both tho so I'm not sure if it's even used for afib. My first thought is are you actually seeing a EP Cardiologist for this as they specialize in heart rhythm problems. Not all regular Cardiologist handle the electrical system of the heart and that's were the problems like afib or mine known ad VT. EP stands for Electo-Physiologist . I'm a little surprised your PCP is doing the following up. If your having afib I know most people I know with it see a EP Cardiologist at least once in a while. You may want to ask about that also.

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@kilh

Thanks for the quick reply. I also have COPD which they told me now but I was not aware of it. The last c-scran showed I have primary pulmonary hypertension along with the afib. Also, my TSH was high starting last November 2021 and climbing. This could be responsible for all my problems but no one caught it until rehab this Spring. I have only been home for about 2 months and maybe a month before that at extended care. Taking Amiodroine all this time. They changed Toprol to bedtime so when my BP drops, I am in bed.

So you have not had any side effects from Amiodroine? I am taking in am with breakfast that is when I get all these side effects and hardly can function. When I take it in the afternoon then no side effects are as bad but still are there. My PCP is so far out of the loop about who ordered the RX, when, and why. All Cardio says is to coordinate with your PCP even though, I see them regularly. I really would like to be able to function doing some household chores and maybe a little outside. No garden this year, so sad! If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment. You are the first to send a comment. Thanks so much and stay healthy. KLH

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I had taken amiodarone for about eight years when it ceased to control my AFib. I was given a choice to have a cardiac ablation of the AV node rather than continue on the amiodarone. I was fully aware that there are major side effects to have a odor on and ask her about six years without it they put me back on temporary for VTach issue. After a short time I started having shortness of breath and was checked for lung issues. They immediately took me off of the amiodarone because it was causing some scarring of the lungs. Since that time I have had no more issues with the lungs but I am being checked once a year. I also have two very dear friends to whom I have advised the side effects and they have ceased to take the amiodarone as well. In my opinion I would definitely ask for an alternative to your cardiac issues and stay away from the amiodarone. It can also damage your liver and other organs. It is extremely toxic!

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