Image for Cardiovascular Pharmacology Concepts, Richard E Klabunde PhD

Cardiovascular Pharmacology Concepts

Richard E. Klabunde, PhD

Clinical Disorders:

Therapeutic Classes:

Mechanism Classes:

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Summary of Drug Classes Used in the Treatment of Arrhythmias

The following table summarizes which antiarrhythmic drugs can be used to treat different arrhythmias. The information was derived primarily from UpToDate on 9/6/22. 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 or atrial tachycardia Class II; IV (non-DHP); ivabradine Treat underlying cause if identified 
Atrial fibrillation/flutter Class IA, IC, II, III, IV (non-DHP); digoxin Ventricular rate control is an important goal; anticoagulation is required
Supraventricular tachycardia Class IA, IC, II, III, IV (non-DHP); adenosine; magnesium sulfate  
AV block atropine Acute reversal only
Ventricular tachycardia Class IA, IB, II, III, IV (non-DHP)  
Premature ventricular complexes Class ID, II, IV (non-DHP); magnesium sulfate PVCs are often benign and do not require treatment

Revised 09/06/22

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