by Dr. Seema Alavi on April 23, 2011 at 12:12 PM
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.
The 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
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