Outline the pharmacology of amiodarone.

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College Answer

Successful candidates applied, a systematic approach/format to answer questions that refer to
outlining pharmacology of select drugs. A number of useful mnemonics are suggested in the
recommended texts for use when answering such a question. All candidates correctly stated
what amiodarone is used for but most were not structured methodically and thus suffered
from significant omission. Amiodarone is an important class III anti-arrhythmic (with some
characteristics of all 4 Vaughan-Williams classes). For a good pass candidates were expected
to actions of amiodarone (eg blocks inactivated Na channels, decreases Ca current, noncompetitive
adrenergic blocking effect, blocks myocardial K channels which contributes to
slowing of conduction and prolongation of refractory period in AV node, prolongs refractory
period in all cardiac tissues, prolongs cardiac action potential duration) and it’s
pharmacokinetics (eg bioavailability, large volume of distribution, high protein binding,
complex metabolism and long elimination half life – 29 days)
Syllabus: C2c
Reference Text: Goodman and Gillman’s The Pharmacological basis of Therapeutics 11th ed
2006 and Pharmacology and Physiology in Anaesthetic Practice / Stoelting 4th ed 2006