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If you are currently taking a medication to reduce your chance of being hospitalized for non-permanent atrial fibrillation (AFib) and it has not been very successful, your doctor may prescribe Multaq. This drug contains Dronedarone and has shown positive results for those who are now in normal rhythm and do not wish to have to go to hospital should AFib return.
When taken as prescribed, Multaq blocks channels in your muscle cells so the charged particles of potassium cannot move in and out freely. This flow of charged particles in and out of the muscle cells is what causes excessive electrical activity that can lead to AFib and a rapid heart rate. As Multaq reduces the potassium flow through the channels, your heart rate settles down.
Some people may not even realize they are in AFib while others experience chest pain, feeling faint or dizzy, feeling out of breath and like their heart is beating too fast. The longer your heart beats are out of sync, the harder it may be for your doctor to regain a normal rhythm so you should not hesitate to see your physician if you feel something is wrong.
Your heart consists of two upper chambers, called the atria, and two lower chambers called ventricles. The atria pump blood into the ventricles where the blood is then pumped out to the rest of your body. There are electrical impulses from a small part of the atrium that make the atria beat. This electrical signal then travels to another part of your heart where it causes the ventricles to beat.
The atria beat first, then the ventricles in a coordinated rhythm that results in your heart pumping blood efficiently. If you are experiencing atrial fibrillation, it is your atria that are not beating normally but quiver instead so the chambers are not able to pump all of the blood to the ventricles and your heart rhythm is offbeat.
Tell your doctor right away if you are pregnant or breast feeding as Multaq can cause harm to your unborn or nursing baby. You should use an effective form of birth control before starting Multaq to avoid becoming pregnant while taking Multaq (Dronedarone). Discuss your medical history with your doctor and list all over the counter and Rx medications you are taking, including dietary and vitamin supplements or herbal preparations as Multaq could cause serious medical problems when taken with certain other drugs.
Your doctor may recommend regular electrocardiographs (ECG) to check your heart function while taking Multaq. To avoid unintended side effects, do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice if you are taking Multaq as this could intensify any side effects. Use caution if you are driving a vehicle or operating machinery as Multaq could make you drowsy. Multaq is only to be taken as a temporary treatment for AFib but is not for those with permanent atrial fibrillation.