Heart Arrhythmia Drug Amiodarone Linked to Lung Damage and Toxicity 

by Terry Bryant

If you or a loved ones has a heart condition, then you might have heard of the powerful drug amiodarone. This drug is used to help the heart beat normally within people who have certain disorders that affect the heart’s lower chambers. Amiodarone, which is often sold within the United States under the brand names Cordarone® and Pacerone®, might be a FDA-approved drug — but this powerful drug has been known to have serious side effects.

Understanding The Risks Associated With Amiodarone

Amiodarone is often administered via pill or through an IV to millions of patients each year. However, the drug has been shown to cause serious side effects. These include:

  • Severe liver damage
  • Pulmonary toxicity
  • Thyroid damage
  • Blindness.

In fact, the FDA recently issued a safety warning about the severe side effects that can occur in certain patients taking amiodarone. According to the FDA findings, approximately 17% of patients who were on 400-mg doses developed pulmonary toxicity. Fatalities occurred in 10% of patients who developed this form of severe lung damage.

Amiodarone Pulmonary Toxicity (APT) significantly decreases a patient’s ability to breathe. This side effect can also lead to fluid in the lungs, nodules or spots on the lungs, or fluid between the lungs and chest wall. The latter two types of damage greatly decrease the lungs’ ability to successfully oxygenate the blood stream and drastically reduce the amount of air that you can breathe at any given time. These serious health issues must be addressed immediately if recovery is to be achieved. A failure to catch APT early on can result in respiratory distress, which can increase the risk of mortality by up to 50%. Finally, amiodarone can stay in the body for months after treatment has ceased, which means that patients and doctors need to carefully monitor side effects even after the prescription has been completed.

Additionally, the FDA found that amiodarone caused damage to the liver, worsening patients’ irregular heart rhythm, as well as producing other potentially deadly symptoms. Patients taking amiodarone should closely monitor their health and reactions to the drug.

Symptoms of worsening heart conditions and lung toxicity include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Light-headedness
  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Irritating cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood.

Symptoms of other serious side effects include:

  • Vision issues
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness and/or loss of muscle coordination in arms and legs.

What Can You Do If You Experience Lung Damage Or Toxicity From Amiodarone?

Throughout the country, many individuals who were injured by amiodarone have chosen to file lawsuits. These plaintiffs are seeking a full range of monetary compensation, from medical expenses to lost wages, and any other damages connected to their use of amiodarone.

The trusted legal team of Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, based in Houston, Texas, is ready to help you if you or a loved one has been injured due to amiodarone. Whether you have experienced lung disease, damage, or toxicity, Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can help you to take the right course of legal action. Simply contact a member of our team to schedule a consultation, so that you can begin the road to legal recovery. Call 800-444-5000 today.