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Common Medications for Irregular Heart Rhythm: Cordarone and Multaq


Cordarone is an anti-arrhythmic drug that is designed for oral administration. Each tablet typically contains about 200mg of a substance called “amiodarone hydrochloride”. Other active ingredients in the drug include magnesium stearate, Red 40, benzofuran, silicon dioxide, 2-butyl, and povidone starch.

Side Effects of Cordarone

A side effect of Cordarone may include allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Cordarone include swelling in the throat, tongue, lips, or face. Other side effects that may occur from Cordarone include:

– Heartbeats that are slow, fast, or pounding

– Feeling as if you are going to pass out

– Worsening heartbeat pattern

– Trouble breathing, chest pain, coughing, or wheezing

– Headaches, loss of vision, or blurred vision

The first precaution that you can take is telling your doctor if you are allergic to the drug, which would generally consist of telling them about any allergies that you have. Before taking the medication, make sure that you tell your doctor about any medical history that includes thyroid, lung, or liver problems.

Note that Cordarone does have the potential to make you dizzy. While on Cordarone, you should not operate any machinery as it can drastically sap your alertness levels. You should also limit the alcoholic beverages when taking the drug. Cordarone does have the ability to make you more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to use protective clothing and sun screen accordingly.


Commonly referred to as “Dronedarone”, Multaq is an effective drug that can be used to treat patients with irregular heart rhythms. For the average adult, two servings of 400mg per day should suffice in allowing it to work. The best way to take Multaq is the method prescribed by your doctor. Never take larger or smaller amounts than recommended. Always follow the directions that are written on the label and always drink with a full glass of water. To help the drug work as effectively as possible, take it in the morning or with an evening meal. Continue to use regularly if you experience no side effects and refill when needed.

Side Effects of Multaq

Common side effects of Multaq can include:

– Weakness

– Vomiting

– Abdominal pain

– Nausea

– Diarrhea

More serious risks could include stroke or death, so be sure to consult this with your doctor to see if you are a primary candidate for the drug.

If you experience fast heart beats, feel like you might pass out, or feel like your heartbeat rhythm is worsening, contact your physician right away. In certain cases, Multaq can cause your body to run low on electrolytes, which would ultimately result in extreme thirst, confusion, leg discomfort, and increased urination.

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-BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh

Dr. Paul Zickler is a graduate of the University of Wester Ontario in 1972. After graduating from the faculty of medicine, Dr. Zickler practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years. He has then operated ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years. Dr. Zickler has become an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy), a principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines, and a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Dr. Zickler is passionate about combining western prescription medicine and natural medicines.

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