Dronedarone is used to treat people who currently have normal heart rhythm, but have had atrial fibrillation in the past. Dronedarone decreases the risk that people who have this condition will need to be hospitalized to treat atrial fibrillation. Dronedarone is in a class of medications called antiarrhythmics. It works by helping the heart to beat normally.
Side Effects Of Dronedarone
Dronedarone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, or those listed in the WARNING section, stop taking dronedarone and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- shortness of breath
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- chest tightness
- dry cough
- coughing up frothy mucus
- difficulty sleeping due to breathing problems
- need to prop yourself up with extra pillows in order to breathe at night
- weight gain (of 5 or more pounds) in a short period of time
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, throat, hands, feet, or legs
- slowed heartbeat
- flu-like symptoms
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- tiredness or lack of energy
- unusual darkening of the urine
- light-colored stools
- sudden severe headache
- sudden complete or partial loss of vision
- weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- difficulty thinking clearly, remembering, or learning new things
Dronedarone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking dronedarone:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to dronedarone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in dronedarone tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications: certain antidepressants such as amitriptyline (in Limbitrol), amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil); certain antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend); clarithromycin (Biaxin); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); medications for irregular heartbeat such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), disopyramide (Norpace), dofetilide (Tikosyn), flecainide (Tambocor), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine, and sotalol (Betapace); nefazodone; phenothiazine medications for mental illness or nausea; ritonavir (Norvir); or telithromycin (Ketek). Your doctor may tell you not to take dronedarone if you are taking one or more of these medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as dabigatran (Pradaxa) and warfarin (Coumadin); beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal); calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); carbamazepine (Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol); cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor); digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin); diuretics (water pills); phenobarbital; phenytoin (Dilantin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft); sirolimus (Rapamune); and tacrolimus (Prograf). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s wort.
- tell your doctor if you have any other heart problems such as a fast or slow heartbeat, a long QT interval (a heart problem that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death), liver disease, or if you have had liver or lung problems that developed after taking amiodarone (Pacerone). Your doctor may tell you not to take dronedarone.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any other medical conditions.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You must use effective birth control during your treatment with dronedarone. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant while taking dronedarone, call your doctor immediately. Dronedarone may harm the fetus.
- you should not breast-feed during your treatment with dronedarone.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking dronedarone if you are 65 years of age or older. Some older adults should not take dronedarone because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
Dronedarone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day, with the morning meal and the evening meal. Take dronedarone at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take dronedarone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to decrease the risk of stroke while you are taking dronedarone. Take this medication exactly as directed during your treatment.
Dronedarone will help control your heartbeat only as long as you continue to take it.
Continue to take dronedarone even if you feel well and have felt well for a long time. Do not stop taking dronedarone without talking to your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to dronedarone.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.