Aratac is a powerful drug for severe irregular heart rhythm, but it is toxic in many areas of the body. Hundreds of patients have suffered permanent lung damage, vision loss, or death.
Aratac contains amiodarone, a medication for people with severe irregular heart rhythm. It was approved as a drug of last-resort, but it is commonly used as a first-line treatment for mild arrhythmias.
Aratac and Lung Disease
The problem is that Aratac often causes lung damage. The label has a “Black Box” warning that 17% of patients develop pulmonary toxicity, a condition that causes progressive scarring of the lungs. Around 10% of cases are fatal. The symptoms may include:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
Aratac and Blindness
Aratac is directly toxic to the optic nerve. Studies have found that nearly 2% of patients develop vision loss, and around 20% of people with vision problems go legally blind in at least one eye. Over 90% of patients on Aratac develop corneal deposits in the eyes, which results in around 2-5% of patients seeing “halos” around bright lights.