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Multaq (Dronedarone) – Oral

What Is Multaq? Multaq (dronedarone) is a heart medicine used to treat atrial fibrillation (also called AFib, a condition causing irregular and usually very rapid heart rhythm patterns). People with atrial fibrillation use Multaq to lower the

  • Posted on 05th May, 2022 16:00 PM
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Multaq (Dronedarone) – Oral Image

What Is Multaq?

Multaq (dronedarone) is a heart medicine used to treat atrial fibrillation (also called AFib, a condition causing irregular and usually very rapid heart rhythm patterns). People with atrial fibrillation use Multaq to lower the risk of going to the hospital. This medicine is available as prescription tablets with only one strength (400 milligrams).

Multaq works by blocking passages through which charged potassium particles move in and out of the heart. Too many charged particles can cause atrial fibrillation and an increase in heart rate. Dronedarone helps to maintain a normal heart rhythm in people with atrial fibrillation.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Dronedarone

Brand Name: Multaq

Drug Availability: Prescription

Therapeutic Classification: Antiarrhythmic

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Administration Route: Oral

Active Ingredient: Dronedarone

Dosage Form: Tablet

What Is Multaq Used For?

Multaq is used in adults with AFib to control and maintain a normal heart rhythm. It also lowers the chance of this population needing to go to the hospital.

How to Take Multaq 

Take one tablet by mouth twice daily with meals (e.g., one tablet with a morning meal and one with an evening meal). Do not take this drug with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Keep taking your prescribed dose even if you feel better. Always take your medicine as directed by your healthcare provider.

Storage

Store Multaq in a dry place at room temperature (77 degrees Fahrenheit). Do not store your drug in the bathroom. Keep all your medicines away from the reach of children and pets.

Toss any unused or expired drugs. Do not throw your medicine down the drain or flush it down the toilet. Contact your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to discard unused or expired medicine.

How Long Does Multaq Take to Work?

It takes dronedarone about three to six hours to peak or to begin working in the body. Multaq is more available in your system if you take it with a high-fat meal than without food.

What Are the Side Effects of Multaq?

The follwoing is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other symptoms or events, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Some common side effects of Multaq include but are not limited to:

  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Skin problems (such as redness, rash, and itchy skin)

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they bother you or do not disappear.

Severe Side Effects

If you have serious side effects, please call your doctor immediately. If it is a medical emergency or life-threatening, call 911. Serious side effects of Multaq include the following:

  • Acute liver failure (needing transplant), which can be indicated by a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, malaise (general feeling of not being well), itching, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), dark urine, and pain in the upper stomach area
  • Heart failure (worsening or new), which can include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, breathing problems that wake you up at night, gaining 5 pounds quickly, swollen legs or feet
  • Heartbeat that is slow, unusual, or fluttering (atrial flutter)
  • Dizziness 
  • Anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction)
  • Angioedema (swelling under the skin)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (lung tissue that's damaged and scarred)
  • Skin photosensitivity (sensitivity to ultraviolet light, including from the sun)
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
  • Kidney problems

Report Side Effects

Multaq may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

(800) 332-1088

Dosage: How Much Multaq Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed byIBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For heart rhythm problems:
      • Adults—400 milligrams (mg) two times per day, taken as one tablet in the morning and evening.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of your drug, skip the missed dose. Start back at your regular time. Do not take extra doses or two doses at a time.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Multaq?

Overdose symptoms may include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Skin photosensitivity
  • Angioedema
  • Slow or abnormal heartbeat
  • Muscle weakness

What Happens If I Overdose on Multaq?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Multaq, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).
If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Multaq, call 911 immediately.

911

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed byIBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Do not use this medicine if you are also using cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), ritonavir (Norvir®), medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, nefazodone, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Serzone®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Tikosyn®), medicine for infections (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, telithromycin, voriconazole, Ery-tab®, Nizoral®, Vfend®), or a phenothiazine medicine (such as chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine, promethazine, thioridazine, Compazine®, Mellaril®, Phenergan®, Thorazine®, Trilafon®). Using these medicines together may cause serious side effects.

Check with your doctor right away if you develop any of the following: chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling of your hands, ankles, or feet, or weight gain. These may be symptoms of heart failure.

This medicine can cause changes in your heart rhythm, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.

Check with your doctor right away if you have upper stomach pain, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Tell your doctor right away if you are having shortness of breath, chest tightness, or any type of breathing problem while being treated with this medicine.

This medicine may increase risk for heart attack, stroke, or other serious side effects. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue to take this medicine for paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation.

Do not stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor.

Grapefruits and grapefruit juice may increase the side effects from dronedarone by increasing the amount of this medicine in your body. You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (e.g., St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Multaq?

In some cases, Multaq may not be an appropriate medication for you.

You should not take Multaq if you:

  • Are allergic to the medication or any of its ingredients
  • Are pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have a severe liver problem
  • Have permanent atrial fibrillation
  • Take drugs for QT prolongation (a condition in which the heart takes longer than normal to recharge between beats)
  • Have had symptomatic heart failure within the last four weeks
  • Had liver or lung toxicity when using a medication called amiodarone 
  • Have bradycardia (heartbeat less than 60 beats per minute)

Multaq doubles the risk of death in people with heart failure. It also doubles the risk of stroke, hospitalization, and death in people with permanent atrial fibrillation.

What Other Medications Interact With Multaq?

If you are on Multaq, there are some medications you should avoid. Do not take Multaq with these drugs:

What Medications Are Similar?

 Other medications that are used to treat arrhythmia, like Multaq, include:

Digoxin is used to treat both heart failure and atrial fibrillation. It has no black box warning (the FDA's strictest warning), while Multaq has two such warnings. On the other hand, amiodarone has a more extensive list of serious side effect profiles than Multaq. Sotalol and flecainide are comparable to Multaq.

Above is a list of drugs also prescribed for atrial fibrillation. It is not a list of drugs recommended to take with Multaq. In fact, you should not take these drugs together. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Multaq used for?

    Multaq is used to treat a type of heart rhythm problem called atrial fibrillation.

  • How does Multaq work?

    When too many charged potassium particles enter the heart, it increases the heart rate and causes atrial fibrillation. Multaq blocks potassium channels. This helps to control and maintain a normal heart rhythm.

  • What are some side effects of Multaq?

    Common side effects of Multaq include diarrhea, weakness, tiredness, indigestion, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. Severe side effects can include allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, angioedema, slow heartbeat, and a skin rash.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Multaq?

Talk to your healthcare provider about all of the medications you take, including vitamins, supplements, and OTC products. Also, tell your provider about any current or new health conditions that you may have. Liver problems resulting in liver transplants have occurred with this drug. Hence, if you experience any new or worsening conditions, inform your healthcare team as soon as possible.

Do not take Multaq with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice increases the levels of the drug in your system, causing more harm to you.

If you are pregnant or you plan to become pregnant, let your provider know. This medicine can harm the fetus. You may need a different treatment.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

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