Doctors trial amiodarone for Ebola in Sierra LeoneBMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7198 (Published 27 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7198
All rapid responses
We were disturbed to read your article promoting the compassionate use of amiodarone for Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Emergency, and suggesting its use was endorsed by DfID and WHO. In reality there has been serious concern from healthcare professionals working within the wider medical community in Sierra Leone over the off-license administration of this potentially toxic drug, given to suspect as well as confirmed ebola patients without their consent. Amiodarone has well documented cardiac, hepatic and pulmonary side-effects.[2,3] At best, evidence of benefit in EVD is speculative and amiodarone is not considered a priority novel therapy for Ebola by WHO, further questioning the ethics of its use in the current EVD outbreak. Unfortunately this use of amiodarone, amongst other unconventional practices at Emergency's Ebola Treatment Centre such as the use of high doses of diuretic in EVD associated acute kidney injury, strongly reaffirms the pressing need for greater accountability and clinical governance for NGOs acting independently in medical disaster situations.
 Turone,F. Doctors trial amiodarone for Ebola in Sierra Leone. BMJ 2014;349:g7198
 Chen C-C, Wu C-C. Acute Hepatotoxicity of Intravenous Amiodarone: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Am J Ther 2014. doi:10.1097/MJT.0000000000000149
 Range FT, Hilker E, Breithardt G, et al. Amiodarone-induced pulmonary toxicity--a fatal case report and literature review. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 2013;27:247–54. doi:10.1007/s10557-013-6446-0
 World Health Organisation. Potential Ebola Therapies and Vaccines. 5th November 2014. WHO/EVD/HIS/EMP/14.1
Competing interests: All authors previously volunteered as doctors with Emergency at the Lakka Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone.