Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Fam Pract. 2000 Jan;49(1):47-59.

The evidence regarding the drugs used for ventricular rate control.

Author information

1
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Our goal was to determine what drugs are most efficacious for controlling the ventricular rate in patients with atrial fibrillation.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We conducted a systematic review of the literature published before May 1998, beginning with searches of The Cochrane Collaboration's CENTRAL database and MEDLINE.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

We included English-language articles describing randomized controlled trials of drugs used for heart rate control in adults with atrial fibrillation.

DATA COLLECTION/ANALYSIS:

Abstracts of trials were reviewed independently by 2 members of the study team. We reviewed English-language abstracts of non-English-language publications to assess qualitative consistency with our results.

MAIN RESULTS:

Forty-five articles evaluating 17 drugs met our criteria for review. In the 5 trials of verapamil and 5 of diltiazem, heart rate was reduced significantly (P <.05), both at rest and with exercise, compared with placebo, with equivalent or improved exercise tolerance in 6 of 7 comparisons. In 7 of 12 comparisons of a beta-blocker with placebo, the beta-blocker was efficacious for control of resting heart rate, with evidence that the effect is drug specific, as nadolol and atenolol proved to be most efficacious. All 9 comparisons demonstrated good heart rate control with beta-blockers during exercise, although exercise tolerance was compromised in 3 of 9 comparisons. In 7 of 8 trials, digoxin administered alone slowed the resting heart rate more than placebo, but it did not significantly slow the rate during exercise in 4 studies. The trials evaluating other drugs yielded insufficient evidence to support their use, but those drugs may yet be promising.

CONCLUSIONS:

The calcium-channel blockers verapamil or diltiazem, or select beta-blockers are efficacious for heart rate control at rest and during exercise for patients with atrial fibrillation without a clinically important decrease in exercise tolerance. Digoxin is useful when rate control during exercise is less a concern.

PMID:
10678340
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center