This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Cordarone [DSC]; Nexterone; Pacerone
- This drug is only used to treat heartbeats that are not normal and that may be deadly. It may cause very bad and sometimes deadly side effects like lung, thyroid, or liver problems. This drug can also cause the heartbeats that are not normal to get worse. Talk with the doctor.
- This drug will be started in a hospital where your child will be closely watched. Talk with the doctor.
- It is used to treat certain types of abnormal heartbeats.
- If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
- If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If your child has any of these health problems: Heart block, shock caused by heart problems, or slow heartbeat.
- If your child has any of these health problems: Certain types of abnormal heartbeats called heart block or sick-sinus syndrome, shock caused by heart problems, or slow heartbeat.
- If your child has any of these health problems: Low calcium, magnesium, or potassium levels.
- If your child is taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal (prolonged QT interval). There are many drugs that can do this. Ask the doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- If your child takes any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with this drug, like certain drugs that are used for hepatitis C, HIV, or infections. There are many drugs that must not be taken with this drug.
- If your child is taking St. John’s wort. Do not give St. John’s wort with this drug. This drug may not work as well.
If your child is breast-feeding a baby:
- Be sure your child does not breast-feed a baby while taking this drug. Your child may also need to avoid breast-feeding a baby for some time after her last dose. Talk with your child’s doctor to see if your child needs to avoid breast-feeding a baby after her last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, have your child rise slowly if your child has been sitting or lying down. Have your child be careful going up and down stairs.
- Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
- Your child will need an ECG before starting this drug and during treatment. Talk with the doctor.
- Low blood pressure has happened with this drug. Sometimes this has been deadly. Talk with the doctor.
- Have your child’s blood pressure and heart rate checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
- Have your child’s heart and lung function checked. Talk with your child’s doctor.
- Get your child an eye exam as you have been told by the doctor.
- Slow heartbeat and the need to get a pacemaker have happened when amiodarone was given with sofosbuvir and certain other hepatitis C drugs. Sometimes, this has been deadly. If your child also takes drugs for hepatitis C, talk with your child’s doctor.
- This drug may affect how much of some other drugs are in the body. If your child is taking other drugs, talk with the doctor. Your child may need to have blood work checked more closely while taking this drug with other drugs.
- If your child has a defibrillator or pacemaker, talk with the doctor.
- Avoid giving your child grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
- If your child has diarrhea or throws up, talk with your child’s doctor. You will need to make sure your child avoids getting dehydrated and electrolyte problems.
- A very bad eye problem has rarely happened with this drug. This may lead to a change in eyesight and sometimes loss of eyesight, which may not come back. Talk with the doctor.
- Your child may get sunburned more easily. Avoid lots of sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and dress your child in clothing and eyewear that protects him/her from the sun.
- This drug stays in the body for weeks or months after it is stopped. Before your child starts taking other drugs, be sure to tell the doctor and pharmacist that your child has taken this drug.
- This drug may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child. Talk with the doctor.
If your child is pregnant:
- This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy. If your child is pregnant or gets pregnant while taking this drug, call the doctor right away.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of lung or breathing problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
- Signs of thyroid problems like a change in weight without trying, feeling nervous and excitable, feeling restless, feeling very weak, hair thinning, low mood (depression), neck swelling, not able to focus, not able to handle heat or cold, period (menstrual) changes, shakiness, or sweating.
- Change in balance.
- Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
- Blue or gray skin color.
- Coughing up blood.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Fast or slow heartbeat.
- An abnormal heartbeat that is new or worse.
- Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
- If bright lights bother your child’s eyes.
- Dizziness or passing out.
- Trouble controlling body movements.
- Muscle weakness.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Lowered interest in sex.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Not hungry.
- Belly pain.
- Not able to sleep.
- Change in taste.
- Change in sense of smell.
- More saliva.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Give this drug with or without food but give it the same way each time. Always give with food or always give on an empty stomach.
- If your child is taking cholestyramine, talk with the pharmacist about how to give it with this drug.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.
- Keep giving this drug to your child as you have been told by your child’s doctor or other health care provider, even if your child feels well.
- This drug is given as a shot into a vein or into a vein nonstop for a period of time.
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
- Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Keep lid tightly closed.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
- Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.