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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2005 Sep;28(9):985-90.

Electrophysiologic effects of carvedilol: is carvedilol an antiarrhythmic agent?

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center 450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 1199, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.


The cardiovascular drug carvedilol is characterized by multiple pharmacological actions, which translate into a wide-spectrum therapeutic potential. Its major molecular targets are membrane adrenoceptors, ion channels, and reactive oxygen species. Carvedilol's favorable hemodynamic effects are due to the fact that the drug competitively blocks beta(1)-, beta(2)-, and alpha(1)- adrenoceptors. Several additional properties have been documented and may be clinically important, including antioxidant, antiproliferative/antiatherogenic, anti-ischemic, and antihypertrophic effects. The antiarrhythmic action of carvedilol may be related to a combination of its beta-blocking effects with its modulating effects on a variety of ion channels and currents. Several studies suggest that the drug may be useful in reducing cardiac death in high-risk patients with prior myocardial infarction and/or heart failure, as well as for primary and secondary prevention of atrial fibrillation. This article will review experimental data available on the electrophysiologic properties of carvedilol, with a focus on their clinical relevance.

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