Drug Therapy for the Management of Atrial Fibrillation: An Update

Andrew RJ Mitchell

Disclosures

Br J Cardiol. 2003;10(5) 

In This Article

Ventricular Rate Control

Sustained high ventricular rates during persistent or permanent AF can lead to a deterioration in left ventricular function.[10,11,12] Historically, digoxin has been used as the pharmacological agent of choice but it has been shown that digoxin, alone, is inadequate at controlling heart rate during exercise in many patients.[13] Beta blockers or rate controlling calcium antagonists, such as diltiazem or verapamil, are more effective at ventricular rate control.[14,15,16,17] Amiodarone has been shown to have some effects at controlling heart rate in AF, possibly via its weak beta-blocking properties, but only when given intravenously.[18,19]

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