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Clin Cardiol. 2012 Jan;35 Suppl 1:28-32. doi: 10.1002/clc.20959.

Benefit-risk assessment of current antiarrhythmic drug therapy of atrial fibrillation.

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Department of Cardiology, J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.


Over the last decade, several rhythm-versus rate-control trails in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have failed to demonstrate benefit of the rhythm control strategy with respect to mortality and morbidity. This had let to the guideline recommendation that antiarrhythmic drug therapy should be considered predominantly for symptomatic improvement of patients. Recent trails and meta-analyses have demonstrated that amiodarone is the most antiarrhythmic drug currently available. However, its use has been associated with many adverse effects. Currently, dronedarone is the only available antiarrhythmic drug which has shown a reduction in cardiovascular hospitalizations in medium-risk AF patients. However, the drug was associated with increased mortality in patients with recently decompensated heart failure. Hence, antiarrhythmic drug therapy has to be evaluated in patients with AF on an individual patients basis.

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