The primary aim of this study was to review the significance of the literature related to the safety, efficacy and the pharmacological characteristics of an old drug that has been around for twenty five years (flecainide) in treating atrial fibrillation.
Normally the heart contracts and pumps at a regular rhythm but in atrial fibrillation one of the chambers of the heart called the atrium, beats faster than the other chambers and results in an abnormal heart rhythm. This abnormal rhythm makes the pumping of the heart inefficient. Atrial Fibrillation (AF) among all the arrhythmias is the most prevalent and is showing an increase in its frequency. Atrial fibrillation is recurrent if patient has experienced two or more attacks.
AdvertisementThe condition is often asymptomatic but may result in palpitations, chest pains, congestive heart failure or clot formation with a risk of its migration to other parts of the body.
The long- term sustainable restoration of sinus rhythm (SR) has been well recognized with use of the drug Flecainide. However most doctors still avoid using the drug in treating these abnormal rhythm (or arrhythmia) and this has been due to the increased mortality attributed to this drug that was published in 1991 in a study called Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST)..
However the current research shows that it is safe to use this drug in AF provided the patient with AF has no left ventricular disease or coronary heart disease.
Avoiding the use of this useful drug denies the patients of an important treating alternative. Hence it is now suggested that Flecainide should be the first drug of choice to restore sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation
The study was conducted byEtienne Aliot; Alessandro Capucci; Harry J. Crijns; Andreas Goette; Juan Tamargo pubished in Europace on 02/13/2011