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Current Cardiology Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-403X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6557

Novel Anti-arrhythmic Medications in the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

Author(s): Pradyot Saklani and Allan Skanes

Volume 8, Issue 4, 2012

Page: [302 - 309] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/157340312803760785

Price: $65


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a prevalent condition particularly amongst the elderly, which contributes to both morbidity and mortality. The burden of disease has lead to significant increases in health care utilization and cost in recent years. Treatment of Atrial fibrillation consists of either a rate or rhythm control strategy. Rhythm control is achieved using medical management and/or catheter ablation. In spite of major strides in catheter ablation, this procedure remains a second line treatment of AF. Anti-arrhythmic medications represent the main treatment modality for the maintenance of sinus rhythm. Amiodarone has been used for decades because of its efficacy and lack of pro-arrhythmia despite numerous extracardiac side effects. Novel agents such as Dronedarone were designed to emulate Amiodarone without the extra-cardiac side effects. Unfortunately recent trials have raised concerns for the safety of this medication in certain patients. Other agents such as Vernakalant and Ranolazine are in development that promise to be more atrial selective in their action, thereby potentially avoiding pro-arrhythmia and heart failure side effects. It remains to be seen however if one or more of these agents achieves the required high efficacy and safety threshold. This review summarizes the main anti-arrhythmic clinical trials, early phase trials involving novel agents and examines the conflicting data relating to Dronedarone.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation, anti-arrhythmic drugs, atrial selectivity, dronedarone, novel agents, ranolazine, vernakalant

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