Amiodarone and Hypthyroidism

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If your doctor has you start on this medicine, please be sure to monitor thyroid levels.  My mom's kidney function took a nosedive, among other side effects. They were holding steady for a long time, and then her creatinine went up and gfr declined after her cardioversion. She had anultrasound to map her arm... and was two days away from surgery for the fistula to prepare for dialysis.  Luckily,we found out in time that her TSH was 152, which would have really complicated the situation under general anesthesia. Not only that, some of the symptoms we attributed to her kidney failure were actually a side effect of the medicine.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    OMG that is so scary! Thank you for making everyone aware! The kidney function declined because of the meds for her afib? 
    • Posted

      My mom was diagnosed with kidney failure two years ago (she'd had high blood pressure and was also using ibuprofen on a regular basis to help her sleep with random aches and pains of aging). Changing up her meds and cutting back on protein and salt helped her  reduce and then maintain a steady (and slightly elevated)creatinine level. She had one (her first, ever) Afib episode last spring, underwent cardioversion, and everything else went downhill when she got put on Amiodarone and Eliquis. Massive nosebleeds which landed her in the er made me decide to stop the blood thinner Eliquis (her nose was packed with a balloon for days to stop the bleeding) - as did the lightheadedness/dizziness which caused her to faul a few times. I couldn't figure out what was going on, but the combination of this site (there is a forum just for Amiodarone) and other research led me to suspect it was the drug -- her cardiologist denied that she was suffering any effects of it. Based on discussions in this group (I love this forum) and he primary dr.'s approval, I reduced the Amiodarone from 200 to 100 mg, by giving her only 1/2 tablet every day) Finally, I took her to an ENT when I wanted to know why my mom's voice got so hoarse, she could barely talked.  He ordered the thyroid test.  Before the cardioversion (and the Amiodarone), her TSH was normal.  So, that naturally shows the drug was the reason for the hypothyroid and symptoms  of hypothyroidism (voice change, lethargy, hair loss, dizziness, sleepiness, swollen face).   So, now, my dilemma is should I resume the blood thinner (at a smaller dose) that I stopped with the nosebleeds; and am I going to cause her to go into Afib again once I stop the Amiodarone? As it is, I've put her at a slightly greater risk of having blood clots; and a higher risk of going into Afib (which means she is at a greater risk in general for having a stroke).  

    • Posted

    • Posted

      Hi I would say and I am sure the others would agree she needs a blood thinner more than the other meds why don't you ask them to try her on Warfarin because they can monitor that with regular bloods tests, we all react differently to everything I couldn't tolerate any of the alternatives so had to stick with Warfarin.

  • Posted

    I was on that drug for a while and my TSH plummeted to 10,000. Normal range for thyroid is about .400 - 5000

    (I live in France and they express the numbers differently)

    It took me weeks to get my levels back to normal and in the meantime suffered all the symptoms of under active thyroid.

    It's a dangerous drug.

    • Posted

      Did you need to take another drug to avoid Afib?
    • Posted

      Yes, my cardiologist put me on Flecainide 50mg. Much better and in fact my post ablation results have been successful, so I come of that mid November too.
  • Posted

    that is awful your poor mum, the refernce range here in the UK for TSH is between 0.01-5.5 .

    that is the second person in less than 3 weeks I have heard that happening to but the drug concerened in the other case was Metformin.

    I hope mum soon feels better.


  • Posted

    Sorry--- typo, I meant to write hypothryroidism
  • Posted

    I get AF bouts every 2-3 weeks - they last 24 hours or so and are only a mild inconvenience. My GP reckons the Warfarin I am on obviates increased stroke risk. I take Sotalol (160mg/day) to reduce incidence of AF - I could increase the dose but fear it would depress my energy levels.

    On a recent visit to the Cardiologist, they talked about Amiodarone but said that it, while highly effective at controlling AF, had significant side effects and was normally only administered for six months max. I decided to stick with Sotalol!

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