Amiodarone is a class III antiarrhythmic drug (with some class IA properties). Amiodarone is FDA approved only for the treatment of ventricular tachycardia, although it is most often used to maintain sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation. The half-life of amiodarone is 42 days and there are significant toxicity concerns (see amiodarone toxicity) including thyroid, liver and lung toxicity. Due to the redistribution of the drug in the body, a significant loading dose needs to be given when the drug is initiated. Likewise, due to the long half-life, the drug may still have phsyiologic effects even weeks after discontinuation. Intravenous amiodarone is known to cause hypotension due to the solvents used in the production process.
By Steven Lome