Drugs for conversion of atrial fibrillation

Joseph T. Dell'Orfano, Jerry C. Luck, Deborah Wolbrette, Hemantkumar Patel, Gerald Naccarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in patients visiting a primary care practice. Although many patients with atrial fibrillation experience relief of symptoms with control of the heart rate, some patients require restoration of sinus rhythm. External direct current (DC) cardioversion is the most effective means of converting atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. Pharmacologic cardioversion, although less effective, offers an alternative to DC cardioversion. Several advances have been made in antiarrhythmic medications, including the development of ibutilide, a class III antiarrhythmic drug indicated for acute cardioversion of atrial fibrillation. Other methods of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic cardioversion remain under development. Until the results of several large- scale randomized clinical trials are available, the decision to choose cardioversion or maintenance of sinus rhythm must be individualized, based on relief of symptoms and reduction of the morbidity and mortality associated with atrial fibrillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-480
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Volume58
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice

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