Adjuvant Antiarrhythmic Therapy in Patients With Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators

An Update

T. Jared Bunch; Jeffrey L. Anderson


Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2014;14(2):89-100. 

In This Article


The risk of sudden cardiac death from ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia in patients with cardiomyopathy related to structural heart disease has been favorably impacted by the wide adaptation of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) for both primary and secondary prevention. Unfortunately, after ICD implantation both appropriate and inappropriate ICD therapies are common. ICD shocks in particular can have significant effects on quality of life and disease-related morbidity and mortality. While not indicated for primary prevention of ICD therapies, beta-blockers and antiarrhythmic drugs are a cornerstone for secondary prevention of them. This review will summarize our current understanding of adjuvant antiarrhythmic drug therapy in ICD patients. The review will also discuss the roles of nonantiarrhythmic drug approaches that are used in isolation and in combination with antiarrhythmic drugs to reduce subsequent risk of ICD shocks.