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Ann Pharmacother. 1996 Jun;30(6):637-43.

Intravenous amiodarone: pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and clinical use.

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1
School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut, Hartford, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and clinical efficacy and safety of intravenous amiodarone.

DATA IDENTIFICATION:

Articles were identified through a computer search of the English-language literature using MEDLINE (KR Information OnDisc) and the search term amiodarone. Additional articles were identified through examination of the bibliographies of the articles initially retrieved.

STUDY SELECTION:

Relevant or representative animal studies, clinical trials, and case reports were selected for evaluation. Particular emphasis was placed on studies pertaining to the use of intravenous amiodarone in treatment-refractory ventricular fibrillation (VF) and hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia (VT).

DATA EXTRACTION:

The literature was assessed for adequate description of patients, study methodologies (e.g., study design, number of patients), and outcomes.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Amiodarone is an unusual class III antiarrhythmic that produces each of the four main types of antiarrhythmic action in addition to other effects, such as vasodilatory, selective antithyroid, and other activities that may be therapeutically relevant. Amiodarone pharmacokinetics demonstrate extensive interpatient variability and are characterized by wide tissue distribution (steady-state volume of distribution 40-84 L/kg), slow total body clearance (90-158 mL/h/kg), long terminal elimination half-life (20-47 d), and extensive hepatic metabolism. The onset of maximal antiarrhythmic effect is a function of both amiodarone dosage and time. The high plasma concentrations achieved with intravenous dosing do not fully replicate the electrophysiologic effects observed following long-term oral administration, particularly with respect to class III activity. Available data suggest that intravenous amiodarone is associated with an efficacy rate of 50% or more in treatment-refractory VT/VF, and has a relatively rapid (2-24 h) onset of action. The drug is relatively well tolerated, but close hemodynamic, electrocardiographic, and hepatic function monitoring are required. The value of using amiodarone serum concentrations to guide therapy remains uncertain.

CONCLUSIONS:

Intravenous amiodarone is an effective, relatively safe antiarrhythmic for the treatment of recurrent, hemodynamically unstable VT/VF refractory to other drug therapy in the acute care setting.

PMID:
8792951
DOI:
10.1177/106002809603000612
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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