We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral repetitive loading of disopyramide, for the termination of acute-onset (i.e., therapy started within 2 days after the onset of palpitations) atrial fibrillation (AF) in 96 consecutive patients, with concurrent monitoring of the serum concentration of this agent in fifteen of the patients. Outpatients with AF verified by standard electrocardiogram (ECG) were hospitalized and received disopyramide (200 mg) every 4-6 h, with a maximal dose of 800 mg daily, until the termination of AF under ECG monitoring was obtained. Conversion to sinus rhythm occurred within the first day of treatment in 88 patients (92%), on the second day of treatment in six patients (6%), and on the third and fifth days of treatment in the remaining two patients. No major adverse effects, such as hypotension, congestive heart failure, proarrythmic events or systemic embolism were noted. The serum levels of disopyramide evaluated in fifteen of the enrolled patients were found to be maintained within the therapeutic range throughout the treatment period. In spite of the absence of any placebo-controlled group in this study, these findings suggest that repetitive oral loading of disopyramide (200 mg) with an interval of 4-6 h is effective and safe for the termination of acute-onset AF under a stable therapeutic serum drug concentration, hence offering the possibility of self- medication for patients with episodic AF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine