Amiodarone has multiple and complex electrophysiological effects that render it a very effective antiarrhythmic drug for the treatment of both, supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias. Proarrhythmic effects of amiodarone in patients with structural heart disease are rare. However, extracardiac adverse effects occurring in association with amiodarone treatment are frequent and feared. These adverse effects have usually been related to total amiodarone exposure (i. e., dose and duration of treatment). Parallel to a more frequent use of lower amiodarone maintenance doses (100-200 mg/day), the incidence of severe unwanted extracardiac side effects has decreased. High-dose maintenance regiments (daily dose ≥300 mg) are usually obsolete. This paper discusses recommendations regarding the monitoring of cardiac and extracardiac side effects of amiodarone. They need to be regarded by physicians using amiodarone to ensure long-term safety of amiodarone therapy.
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