Antiarrhythmic pharmaceutical development for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) is moving in several directions. The efficacy of existing drugs, such as carvedilol, for rate control and, possibly, suppression of AF, is more appreciated. Efforts are being made to modify existing agents, such as amiodarone, in an attempt to amellorate safety and adverse effect concerns. This has resulted in promising data from the delodinated amlodarone analog, dronedarone, and further work with cellvarone and ATI-2042. In an attempt to minimize ventricular proarrhythmia, atrial selective drugs, such as intravenous vernakalant, have demonstrated efficacy in terminating AF in addition to promising data in suppression recurrences when used orally. Several other atrial selective drugs are being developed by multiple manufacturers. Other novel therapeutic mechanisms, such as drugs that enhance GAP junction conduction, are being developed to achieve more effective drug therapy than is offered by existing compounds. Finally, nonantiarrhythmic drugs, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, anglotensin receptor blockers, high-mobility group coenzyme A enzyme inhibitors and omega-3 fatty acids/fish oil, appear to have a role in suppressing AF in certain patient subtypes. Future studies will clarify the role of these drugs in treating AF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine