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  • Generic Name: (amiodarone hydrochloride)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 08/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Pacerone is a medicine used to treat life-threatening heartbeat problems called ventricular arrhythmias, when other treatments have not worked or were not tolerated.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Pacerone works by relaxing your heart muscles, thereby helping your heart to beat more regularly.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Pacerone may help to make your heart beat more regularly.

      When: Pacerone may start working in 2 to 3 days; however, it usually takes 1 to 3 weeks to see full effects. It is important that you take Pacerone exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Pacerone may cause serious and possibly life-threatening lung damage. Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you experience shortness of breath, wheezing, or any other trouble breathing, or if you are coughing, having chest pain, or are spitting up blood.

      Pacerone may also cause serious and possibly life-threatening liver damage. Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you experience nausea or vomiting; pass brown or dark-colored urine; feel more tired than usual; develop yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes; or have stomach pain.

      Pacerone may also cause your arrhythmia to get worse. Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you feel lightheaded, or if you feel your heart pounding, skipping a beat, or beating very fast or very slowly.

      Treatment with Pacerone will be started in a hospital to monitor your condition. Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely during this time, and may adjust your dose appropriately.

      More common side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sun, tiredness, shaking, involuntary muscle movements, lack of coordination, dizziness, numbness, constipation, loss of appetite, changes in vision.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Eye problems that may lead to loss of vision, with symptoms such as blurred vision, seeing halos, or sensitivity to light.

      Thyroid problems, with symptoms such as weakness, weight loss or gain, intolerance to heat or cold, hair thinning, sweating, changes in your menstrual cycle, swelling of your neck, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, decreased concentration, depression in elderly patients, or shaking.

      Harm to your baby if taken during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Pacerone.

      Nerve problems, with symptoms such as numbness in your hands, legs, or feet, muscle weakness, uncontrolled movements, poor coordination, and trouble walking.

      Pacerone may cause your skin to become more sensitive to light or to turn a bluish-gray color if you take it for a long period of time.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Pacerone if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, including iodine.

      Do not take Pacerone if you have certain heart problems (such as a slow heart rate with or without dizziness or lightheadedness, or your heart skips a beat).

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Pacerone. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have an implanted defibrillator or pacemaker; lung or breathing problems; liver, thyroid, or blood pressure problems; if you are scheduled for surgery (including eye surgery); or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, and may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Pacerone exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Pacerone without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Take Pacerone with or without food, as directed by your healthcare provider. Make sure to take it the same way each time.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are taking Pacerone.

      Do not expose yourself to sunlamps or tanning beds, and try to limit your time in the sun, as Pacerone can increase your sensitivity to light. If you need to be outdoors, use sunscreen and wear a hat and loose-fitting clothes that protect your skin from the sun.

      Do not become pregnant or breastfeed while you are taking Pacerone.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Pacerone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Pacerone may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Pacerone can harm your baby if taken during pregnancy and can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Pacerone. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Pacerone, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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