Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Is Amiodarone Toxic?

Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:52 PM

Question: 10 years ago I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation after three episodes over 10 days. The supposed cause was a mixture of caffeine and alcohol. I was put on amiodarone (200mg/day) which I took for ten years until last week when I was told by a cardiologist that it can destroy the liver, lungs, and eyes. I stopped it immediately. Now what am I supposed to do when the residual effects wear off? Is amiodarone really as toxic as that cardiologist believes?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Amiodarone can be a toxic medication and is not used for long-term management of conditions such as yours. Most patients with recurring bouts of atrial fibrillation undergo electrophysiology testing (a test that records the electrical activity and pathways of your heart). It often finds that selective ablation procedures will reduce or eliminate recurring bouts of irregular heart beats. Since it has been ten years since your last recurrence, your doctor is correct in waiting to see if your episodes recur before recommending further evaluation. If you have further questions, consult with a cardiologist.

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