Controlling Atrial Fibrillation with Drug Therapies

Dr. Frank Halperin, MD, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, discusses controlling atrial fibrillation with drug therapies.

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Dr. Frank Halperin, MD, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, discusses controlling atrial fibrillation with drug therapies.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Frank Halperin, MD, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist

Duration: 1 minute, 52 seconds

We have agents known as antiarrythmics which are drugs or medications which help control atrial fibrillation.

What these agents do is they help keep a patient in normal sinus rhythm, so make it less likely for atrial fibrillation to occur and if atrial fibrillation should occur, it makes it more likely for them to revert back into normal sinus rhythm on their own.

There are a number of these agents that are currently available. The most effective agent is one known as amiodarone, this is an agent that has been on the market for quite some time. It has quite a number of side effects some related to the heart, and others related to other organ systems, and given this it’s really important that this type of medication  be administered through the use of a specialist from help from the family doctor.

We have other agents that we use as well, a brother of amiodarone known as dronedarone, and this one tends to be a little bit less effective than the amiodarone, but it also has less in terms of side effects which can be helpful.

We have a few other agents, one of which being sotadol, which is a brother in the beta blocker family. This agent is also very helpful in terms of preventing recurrent episodes of atrial fibrillation, and it also helps prevent the heart from beating rapidly should atrial fibrillation occur.

The last group of medications are agents such as propafenone of flecainide, and these agents are also very effective but tend to be used only in patients with good normal, good structurally normal hearts.
If you have any questions about these medications you should discuss this further with your family physician or with your specialist and they can discuss with you in detail the potential benefits these medications may offer and as well the potential risks that there may be in your particular case.

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Presenter: Dr. Frank Halperin, Cardiologist, Kelowna, BC

Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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