UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: amiodarone agony

Keywords: amiodarone, adverse effects, arrhythmias (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/12/2007 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 7/21/2019)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Times when amiodarone should be avoided in wide complex tachycardias: 1. prolonged QT or torsade de pointes -- amiodarone prolongs QT and may induce torsade or cause torsade to become intractable 2. pregnancy -- amio is the only class D antiarrhythmic...use anything else, even electricity! 3. rapid Afib with WPW -- the only published literature says this causes hemodynamic deterioration 4. AIVR -- turns it into asystole...a clean kill! 5. pseudo-VTach caused by hyperK, TCAs, and similar meds -- these are actually not VT but just wide complex tachycardias (that look like VT) caused by poisoned sodium channels...amiodarone further blocks the sodium channels and can cause asystole 6. pulseless VT or VFib cardiac arrest -- you won't actually make the patient worse, but the ONLY evidence indicates that all amio does is increase survival to ICU without improved mental status and without increasing survival to discharge...so essentially you take up more ICU beds and increase costs