Intravenous amiodarone for ventricular arrhythmias: overview and clinical use
Gonzalez ER. Kannewurf BS. Ornato JP
Resuscitation. 39(1-2):33-42, 1998.
Numerous pharmacological agents with varying cellular electrophysiological effects are available to treat cardiac arrhythmias. Amiodarone is predominantly a Vaughan Williams Class III agent, but also possesses electrophysiological characteristics of the other three Vaughan Williams classes (Class I and IV and minor Class II effects). Amiodarone's primary mechanism is to prolong the cardiac action potential and repolarization time leading to an increased refractory period and reduced membrane excitability. The efficacy and tolerability of intravenous (IV) amiodarone for acute treatment of recurrent and refractory ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation has been demonstrated in clinical trials. The ARREST trial, a randomized trial comparing IV amiodarone to placebo, found a significant improvement in the proportion of patients surviving to the emergency department following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in amiodarone-treated patients. Intravenous amiodarone is an effective anti-arrhythmic agent for the acute treatment of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias and represents an important treatment option for emergency anti-arrhythmic therapy for patients suffering from cardiac arrest.
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