Amiodarone in congestive heart failure
Singh S.
International Journal of Clinical Practice. 52(6):432-5, 1998. (Review)
Originally developed as an antianginal agent, amiodarone was soon found to have antiarrhythmic properties and to be a non-competitive inhibitor of alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors. Many trials studying the use of amiodarone in patients with heart failure have now been performed and are reviewed in this article. The trials appear to show that amiodarone possesses significant antiarrhythmic activity, even in heart failure patients. The drug appears to be well tolerated and proarrhythmia is uncommon. Based on the findings of a large Argentinian randomised trial (GESICA) and the Congestive Heart Failure Survival Trial of Antiarrhythmic Therapy (CHF STAT), it would appear there is a role for amiodarone in patients with non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy, but prospective studies are required to confirm this. The benefit of amiodarone in patients with non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy might be related to the beta-blocking effect that is seen with the use of conventional beta-blockers. Further studies, including the Sudden Cardiac Death Heart Trial (SCD HeFT), should help determine the role of amiodarone in heart failure patients.
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