Multaq is a medication prescribed to patients to help reduce the risk of hospitalization for abnormal heart rhythm, particularly atrial fibrillation to help maintain a regular heart rhythm and prevent risks of recurring episodes.

The medication helps maintain a normal heart rhythm, Multaq is initiated in patients in sinus rhythm with appropriate antithrombotic therapy.

It blocks ion channels like calcium, potassium, and sodium which give electric signals in the heart. By doing so, the medication corrects the abnormal electrical impulses and prevents them from causing arrhythmias.

Multaq also exhibits mild beta-blocking activity which contributes to antiarrhythmic effects. Beta-blockers slow down the heart rate by blocking the effects of adrenaline on your heart. The reduction in the heart rate helps manage the rapid heartbeats associated with atrial fibrillation hence controlling heart rhythm.

Multaq Precautions and Warnings

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Women: If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, avoid taking Multaq because it can cause fetal harm or birth defects. It is unknown if Multaq is passed into the breast milk, therefore, you should seek medical advice before breastfeeding.
  • Liver Injury: Administering Multaq may cause liver injury. If you experience any signs and symptoms of liver injury such as fever, vomiting, malaise, and nausea, discontinue the medication immediately.
  • Hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia: Multaq increases the risk of having low potassium or low magnesium in the blood. In case you experience symptoms such as drowsiness, dry mouth, decreased urine, and nausea or vomiting, seek medical assistance right away.
  • Heart Failure: You should not take Multaq if you have a heart failure condition with symptoms that require hospitalization such as extreme fatigue, severe shortness of breath, significant swelling in feet and legs, and rapid weight gain, as it can cause death.
  • Allergic Reactions: Patients who are allergic to Multaq or any of its ingredients should not take the medication, because it may cause adverse side effects.
  • Blurry Vision: Taking Multaq causes blurry vision and dizziness. Therefore, avoid driving or operating machines that require concentration after taking the medication.
  • Stroke: There is an increased risk of having a stroke after taking Multaq, particularly in the first two weeks of therapy.
  • Lung Disease: Cases of interstitial lung diseases can develop after the administration of Multaq including pulmonary fibrosis and pneumonitis. In case pulmonary toxicity is confirmed, you should discontinue the medication immediately.

Side Effects of Multaq

While Multaq is effective in reducing the frequency of arrhythmic episodes and stabilizing heart rhythms, using it is associated with a range of potential side effects. The side effects can vary in severity and impact, which requires careful monitoring and management.

Common Side Effects

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Itchiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of strength
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion

Severe Side Effects

  • Photosensitivity
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bradycardia
  • Inflammation of the lungs
  • Liver conditions
  • Strokes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hypomagnesemia
  • Chest pain

Drug Interactions with Multaq

Multaq may interact with other medications, potentially leading to altered efficacy or increased side effects. Understanding the interaction of Multaq with other medicines helps prevent complications and ensure optimal therapeutic outcomes.

Drug Interaction
AmiodaroneThe interaction between Multaq and amiodarone may increase the risk of having QT prolongation, arrhythmia, and other cardiac adverse effects.
WarfarinCombining warfarin and Multaq may alter warfarin’s anticoagulant effect increasing the risk of having intracranial hemorrhage, bruising, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
DigoxinConcurrent use of Multaq and digoxin may potentiate the effects of digoxin leading to an increased risk of heart block, digoxin toxicity, and bradycardia.
CyclosporineUsing cyclosporine alongside Multaq may result in elevated blood levels of Multaq, which can increase effects such as liver toxicity and gastrointestinal disturbances.
AtorvastatinThe combination of atorvastatin and Multaq which are used in lowering cholesterol levels, can increase the risk of developing elevated liver enzymes, myopathy, and rhabdomyolysis.
VerapamilTaking verapamil together with Multaq may cause you to have an increased risk of bradycardia, low blood pressure, and heart block due to their combined effects on cardiac conduction.

Strengths and Dosages of Multaq

Age Dosage No. Times a Day
Adults400 mgTwice per day

You should take Multaq in the morning and evening after your meals. This routine helps ensure a steady level of Multaq in your system, which is essential for its effectiveness in managing your condition.

It is not indicated whether to chew, crush, or split the tablets, therefore, it is highly advisable to swallow them whole. If you find it difficult to swallow the drug, seek assistance from your doctor.

The medication is designed for long-term use. Once you and your health practitioner agree that Multaq is both safe and effective for your condition, you may continue taking it for an extended period.

Cost of Multaq in America

The price for a 60-tablet supply of Multaq oral tablets, each having 400 mg, is approximately $850, with prices varying depending on the pharmacy you purchase the medication. These quoted prices are intended for cash-paying customers and it is not applicable when using medical insurance coverage.

Why is Multaq so expensive?

Multaq medication has limited competition from the generic version or alternative drugs, this allows the manufacturer to set high prices for the drug without any significant pressure from competitors.

It is marketed as a brand-name medication and does not have a generic version. Brand-name medications are usually expensive due to the extensive search needed which verify their safety and effectiveness.

Multaq undergoes rigorous research and development process which involves preclinical studies, clinical trials, and regulatory approvals. These processes require financial investments, often totaling a huge amount of money, which contributes to its high cost in the market.

Multaq Alternatives

Despite Multaq’s efficacy, it is associated with certain limitations, including potentially severe side effects in some patients. As a result, these patients may need to explore different alternative treatment options to manage atrial fibrillation such as:

  • Metoprolol
  • Sotalol
  • Xarelto 
  • Digoxin
  • Tikosyn
  • Flecainide
  • Verapamil
  • Esmolol
  • Propafenone
  • Amiodarone
  • Carvedilol

Multaq FAQs

What is Multaq used for?

Multaq is primarily used to treat certain types of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), particularly atrial fibrillation.

How long does Multaq stay in your system?

Multaq can stay in your system for approximately 65 to 95 hours after taking the final dose.

When will Multaq go generic?

FDA has approved the generic version of Multaq, but it is expected to be commercially available in April 2029.

How long does it take for Multaq to work?

Multaq begins to be effective shortly after the initial dose is taken. The medication reaches its maximum effectiveness within 4-8 hours.

How to stop Multaq?

Do not stop using Multaq immediately. Consult your doctor before you stop taking it to guide you on how to stop taking the medication safely.

Who makes Multaq?

Multaq is manufactured by a pharmaceutical company called Sanofi-Aventis.

How long can you take Multaq?

Once you and your doctor determine that Multaq is safe and effective for you, they may administer it for long-term use.

How long does it take for Multaq to leave your system?

Multaq’s half-life is about 13-19 hours. This means it takes about 2 – 4 days for the medication to leave your system.

What type of antiarrhythmic is Multaq?

The medication is classified as a class III antiarrhythmic drug.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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