Medicine & USMLE

Amiodarone Side Effects

Cardio Drugs - Antiarrhythmics
  1. Diltiazem and Verapamil (Calcium Channel Blockers)
  2. Class 1A Antiarrhythmics
  3. Class 1B Antiarrhythmics
  4. Class 1C Antiarrhythmics
  5. Class 3 Antiarrhythmics
  6. Amiodarone Side Effects
  7. Adenosine


Amiodarone is a medication that has a lot of side effects. It can cause liver damage and neuropathy. Amiodarone can affect the thyroid gland, causing either hypo or hyperthyroidism. Other side effects include pulmonary fibrosis, blue-gray skin discoloration, corneal deposits, and photosensitivity. Patients taking amiodarone should avoid grapefruit juice, as it increases the risk of experiencing these side effects.

Key Points

  • Amiodarone
    • Side Effects
      • Pulmonary fibrosis
        • Damaged and scarred lung tissue
        • Before starting treatment, patients should receive a baseline chest x-ray and pulmonary function test
        • Report any respiratory symptoms to the provider (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, etc.)
      • Corneal deposits
        • The deposits may appear as cloudy or opaque areas on the cornea and can affect vision depending on their location and extent
      • Liver damage (hepatotoxicity)
        • Monitor liver function tests (LFTs) during treatment, including the lab levels AST and ALT
      • Thyroid damage
        • Can cause either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
        • Monitor thyroid function during treatment
      • Neuropathy
        • Tingling or numbness in the extremities
      • Photosensitivity
        • Wear sunscreen and protective clothing
        • Blue-gray skin discoloration
    • Nursing Considerations
      • Avoid grapefruit juice
        • Grapefruit juice interferes with how amiodarone is metabolized in the body
        • A buildup of amiodarone in the blood can lead to toxicity