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Amiodarone (By mouth)

Treats life-threatening heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) in patients who have already taken other antiarrhythmic medicines.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Amiodarone is used to treat life-threatening heart rhythm problems called ventricular arrhythmias. This medicine is used in patients who have already been treated with other medicines that did not work. Amiodarone belongs to the group of medicines known as antiarrhythmics. It works directly on the heart tissue and will slow the nerve impulses in the heart. This helps keep the heart rhythm normal. … Read more
Brand names include
Cordarone, Pacerone
Other forms
Injection
Drug classes About this
Antiarrhythmic, Group III

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Effectiveness and safety of ibutilide versus amiodarone in cardioversion of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Dong X, Zhu SN, Ding WH.  Effectiveness and safety of ibutilide versus amiodarone in cardioversion of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter: a meta-analysis. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2012; 12(2): 194-200 Available from: http://www.cjebm.org.cn/en/oa/DArticle.aspx?type=view&id=201202012

Amiodarone for repurfusion arrhythmia after thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Lv JY, Wang L, Li X, Wang L, Xin SJ.  Amiodarone for repurfusion arrhythmia after thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction: a meta-analysis. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2013; 13(9): 1110-1115 Available from: http://www.cjebm.org.cn/oa/DArticle.aspx?type=view&id=20130914

Meta-analysis of amiodarone versus beta-blocker as a prophylactic therapy against atrial fibrillation following cardiac surgery

The authors concluded that amiodarone and beta-blockers seemed to have similar efficacy and safety for reducing the risk of postoperative atrial fibrillation. This appeared to have been a well conducted review and the authors' conclusions reflect the evidence presented, but limitations of the evidence base and mean that these conclusions may not be entirely reliable.

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Summaries for consumers

Antiarrhythmics for maintaining sinus rhythm after cardioversion of atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a disease where the heart rhythm is irregular (this is called arrhythmia) and too fast (this is called tachycardia, from the Greek "tachy" meaning fast). Atrial fibrillation may produce complications, either in the heart (heart failure, syncope) or in other organs (mainly causing embolisms, which is the formation of blood clots in the cavities of the heart that may then travel to other places, for example the brain).

Intervention is favored in the prevention of post‐operative atrial fibrillation after heart surgery

Atrial fibrillation after heart surgery is a common complication that has been associated with poor outcomes. We reviewed the literature to better understand the role of preventative interventions for this condition. By combining the results of 118 studies with 17,364 participants, we are able to gain a better understanding of the evidence behind each of these interventions. All of the interventions studied were effective in reducing the occurrence of atrial fibrillation, length of hospital stay, cost of hospital treatment and may be effective in reducing the risk of stroke. The interventions did not have an effect on death after heart surgery. It was not possible to analyze the adverse events associated with the medications studied in this review, but these should be considered by clinicians when choosing an appropriate intervention for their patients. Furthermore, differences in the design between the studies combined in this review may complicate interpretation of these results.

Radiofrequency Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation: A Guide for Adults

This guide talks about a procedure for people with A-fib that can put the heart back into normal rhythm. The procedure is called radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Ablation means removing problem areas. During RFA, doctors thread a thin wire through a vein to the heart. Then heat is sent through the wire to problem areas. The heat destroys a small amount of tissue and stops abnormal heart beats.

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