The anti-arrhythmic drug amiodarone (sold under the brand-names Pacerone, Aratac, and Cordarone) has been associated with severe, life-threatening side effects — especially when amiodarone is combined with simvastatin (Zocor), a popular statin used to reduce cholesterol. The side effects of amiodarone include degenerative muscle disease (rhabdomyolysis), blindness, a serious skin disease called Toxic Epidermal Necrosis (TEN), and other diseases.
What is Amiodarone?
Amiodarone is a medication that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat irregular heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Amiodarone is also sold under the brand-names Pacerone, Cordarone, and Aratac. Amiodarone is also frequently prescribed off-label (for conditions not approved by the FDA), often by doctors who do not inform their patients about the risk.
Amiodarone and Simvastatin
One of the most concerning drug combinations is amiodarone plus simvastatin (Zocor), a popular statin medication used to reduce high cholesterol levels. There is growing concern about the risks associated with this drug combination, and the FDA has published warnings about this risk. One FDA warning was published in 2008, after the agency received 52 adverse event reports of rhabdomyolysis since 2002.
Rhabdomyolysis is a degenerative muscle disease that affects skeletal muscles. The condition can be life-threatening. It occurs when the skeletal muscles break down and release myoglobin, a muscle protein, into the bloodstream. This muscle protein can clog the filtering system in a person’s kidneys, potentially causing kidney damage or kidney failure. In severe cases, the muscle disease may also reduce circulation and cause tissue damage in the body.
Amiodarone Side Effects
Amiodarone has been associated with some severe side effects, especially when it is combined with simvastatin (Zocor). Side effects may include:
- Rhabdomyolysis (degenerative muscle disease)
- Lung diseases (interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis)
- Thyroid disease
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Toxic Epidermal Necrosis (TEN) – skin disease
- And more
If you decide to file an amiodarone lawsuit, you could potentially receive compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, debilitating injuries (disability) and more.