The reputation of amiodarone spread far and wide—amiodarone, the word was, was a unique antiarrhythmic drug that almost always worked, and had virtually no side effects. Both of these assertions, of course, proved false - Richard N. Fogoros MD


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Is Amiodarone Dead?

Background: Amiodarone is a class III antidysrhythmic first released for human use in 1962. As with other drugs in this class, amiodarone acts by blocking potassium channels thus prolonging the action potential. This, in turn, leads to a lengthening of depolarization of the atria and ventricles. The drug spread rapidly through US hospitals as it was touted as “always works, and no side effects,” by it’s pharmaceutical manufacturer (Bruen 2016).

Of course, nothing comes free and soon after the drug became widely used, a multitude of adverse effects became apparent. These included minor issues – sun sensitivity and corneal deposits – to major ones – thyroid dysfunction…

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Last Updated : Friday, June 11, 2021