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Eur Heart J. 1991 Apr;12(4):526-32.

Plasma propafenone concentration in the evaluation of anti-arrhythmic efficacy.

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Kardiologische Universitätsklinik, Vienna, Austria.


The anti-arrhythmic drug efficacy of oral propafenone therapy (300 mg to 900 mg per day) was studied in relation to propafenone and hydroxy-propafenone plasma concentrations in 70 outpatients (46 males, 24 females, mean age 57 +/- 12 years) followed up for 24 +/- 32 months. On average 1.7 plasma concentration measurements were performed per patient. The arrhythmias were effectively controlled in 32 patients, but in another 32 patients propafenone therapy was ineffective; in six patients the evaluation was unclear. The therapy was effective in 66% of patients with ventricular premature beats, in 50% with complex ventricular arrhythmias, in 40% with ventricular tachycardia and in 20% with supraventricular tachycardia. Fifty per cent of patients with coronary heart disease and electrical disease, but only 20% with dilated cardiomyopathy and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome were effectively treated. Measurement of peak plasma propafenone levels performed 4.5 +/- 2 h after oral drug administration revealed no statistically significant dose-plasma concentration relation. Optimal propafenone drug efficacy was documented at propafenone plasma concentrations ranging from 0.20 to 0.60 micrograms/ml (63% of patients considered as effectively treated). There was a trend to decrease propafenone efficacy at plasma concentrations below 0.20 micrograms/ml and above 0.60 micrograms/ml. Analysis of hydroxypropafenone identified four patients as poor metabolizers with unusually high propafenone and low hydroxypropafenone plasma concentrations; only one of these four patients showed drug efficacy. Monitoring of propafenone and hydroxypropafenone plasma concentrations was a practical procedure to assess patient's compliance, to identify poor metabolizers and to guide anti-arrhythmic drug therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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