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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Propafenone-mexiletine combination for the treatment of sustained ventricular tachycardia.

OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of combined therapy with propafenone and mexiletine for control of sustained ventricular tachycardia. BACKGROUND. Combination antiarrhythmic drug therapy may enhance efficacy and lead to control of ventricular arrhythmias in some patients. Few reports have studied the combination of class IB and class IC drugs. Thus, this study was designed to investigate a combination of mexiletine and propafenone in patients with refractory ventricular tachycardia. METHODS. Sixteen patients with sustained ventricular tachycardia had their clinical arrhythmia induced by programmed stimulation. Procainamide and propafenone alone failed to prevent reinduction of tachycardia in all. Mexiletine was subsequently added to propafenone and programmed stimulation was repeated. RESULTS. With combination therapy ventricular tachycardia was noninducible in three patients (19%). A fourth who had presented with polymorphic ventricular tachycardia had slow bundle branch reentry (cycle length 500 ms) induced. In the other 12, tachycardia cycle length increased from 262 +/- 60 ms at baseline to 350 +/- 82 ms with propafenone and to 390 +/- 80 ms with propafenone plus mexiletine (p less than 0.0001 compared with baseline). Hemodynamic deterioration requiring defibrillation occurred in six patients at baseline study, in five taking propafenone and in two taking both drugs. CONCLUSIONS. The combination of propafenone and mexiletine is effective in suppressing the induction of ventricular tachycardia in some patients refractory to procainamide and propafenone alone. In those in whom ventricular tachycardia could still be induced, the rate was slower and hemodynamically tolerated.[1]


  1. Propafenone-mexiletine combination for the treatment of sustained ventricular tachycardia. Yeung-Lai-Wah, J.A., Murdock, C.J., Boone, J., Kerr, C.R. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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