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Cardiovascular Pharmacology Concepts

Richard E. Klabunde, PhD

Clinical Disorders:

Therapeutic Classes:

Mechanism Classes:

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Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts textbook cover

Click here for information on Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, 2nd edition, a textbook published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2011)


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Click here for information on Normal and Abnormal Blood Pressure, a textbook published by Richard E. Klabunde (2013)


Summary of Drug Classes Used in the Treatment of Arrhythmias

The following table summarizes which antiarrhythmic drugs may be used to treat different types of arrhythmias. It is important to note that for a given condition a particular drug may not be efficacious, and in fact, it may precipitate other arrhythmias or adverse cardiovascular effects (e.g., cardiac depression, hypotension). Therefore, drug efficacy and safety must be carefully evaluated and individualized to the patient when treating arrhythmias.

Condition Drug Comments
Sinus tachycardia Class II, IV Other underlying causes may need treatment
Atrial fibrillation/flutter Class IA, IC, II, III, IV
Ventricular rate control is important goal; anticoagulation required
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia Class IA, IC, II, III, IV
AV block atropine Acute reversal
Ventricular tachycardia Class I, II, III  
Premature ventricular complexes Class II, IV
Mg++ salts
PVCs are often benign and not treated
Digitalis toxicity Class IB
Mg++ salts;

Revised 08/24/06

DISCLAIMER: These materials are for educational purposes only, and are not a source of medical decision-making advice.