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My dad is 66 years old and has an ICD fitted because he has had arrythmias (VTs).
Last august 2013 he was quite fit and healthy- but he was put on amiodorone because his icd fired for the second time (we believe it is because he hadnt taken his water tablet regularly and his body was water-logged). At the time two cardiologists argued about whether he should be put on amiodorone given that he had a pre-existing thyroid condition (which was under control and settled at that point). His cardiologist won the argument and he was put on it. In september 2013 he completed a cardiac rehab programme and was jogging on the treadmill and seemed to be in a good state.
However since starting amiodorone we have seen his health deteriorate and he is now in hospital not even able to stand up.
He started having problems with his thyroid and in jan 2014 was put on thyroxine which was increased to a level of 100mg- but the endrocrinologists can not get the level right as they attribute the thyroid dysfunction to the amiodorone. They asked for the amiodorone to be stopped but the cardiologist refused. It has made him over-active at times and under-active at times- again in march 2014 his icd fired because of such fluctuating thyroxine levels.
Also since starting amiodorone he has a terrible cough and has suffered shortness of breath. He has had repeated chest infections for which he has been hospitalised. A Respiratory consultant saw him last week and said it was due to the amiodorone and recommended it was stopped. From reading up i understand this is pulmonary toxicity caused by the amiodorone.
On wednesday last week my dad has been hospitalised for a chest infection and the registrar seemed convinced that the amiodorone should be stopped. However when the registrar consulted my dad's cardiologist he refused to let him stop amiodorone. Instead he wants to keep him on it and introduce mexilitene (another potent drug).
We are at a loss. We know that the amiodorone has caused so much damage already and many of the experts involved (initial cardiologist, endocrinologist , respiratory consultant, registrar) believe he should be taken off amiodorone but nobody can over-ride his cardiologist.
We also think that he should not start any other drugs as he has an ICD which would fire if he has any life-threatening arrythmias.
Please can anybody help if they have had a similar experience or know a cardiologist who has helped them to come off amiodorone when they have seen adverse side-effects.
Also what alternative drug is there to amiodorone- we have read about Sotalol - has anybody transitioned onto this drug?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated- our family are desperately worried.
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