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Cordarone side effects increase odds women will need a pacemaker

Austin Kirk

According to new research, women who use Cordarone (generic amiodarone) could be more likely to require a pacemaker.  Cordarone is a prescription medication used to treat a common heartbeat problem, known as atrial fibrillation.  While the researchers indicate it is a risk factor for women, the Cordarone side effects do not appear to apply to men.

The study is reported in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.  The researchers found that women who used Cordarone were nearly five times more likely to end up requiring a pacemaker than women who did not take the drug.  The outcomes of 973 patients were evaluated over about two years after they were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is a heartbeat abnormality which could increase the risk of a stroke caused by clots which form in the heart and travel to the brain.  The researchers report that Cordarone is more effective than alternative treatments at maintaining a normal heart beat, but side effects of the drug among women was identified as a risk factor for requiring a pacemaker.

A pacemaker is a medical device which is implanted into the chest to regulate the beating of the heart.  Electrodes are used to deliver electrical pulses through small wires directly to the heart wall. 

Researchers warned that physicians should exercise caution when prescribing Cordarone (amiodarone) to women, especially older women who are already at an increased risk of needing a pacemaker.  They indicated that lower doses of the drug should be considered in women to reduce the risks associated with Cordarone side effects.

If you, a friend or family member are a woman who required a pacemaker after taking Cordarone for treatment of atrial fibrillation, request a free consultation.

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