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

Electrophysiological effects of the combination of mexiletine and flecainide in guinea-pig ventricular fibres.

1. The effects of flecainide alone, mexiletine alone and their combination at the Na+ channel level were studied in guinea-pig papillary muscles. The maximum upstroke velocity (Vmax) was used as an indirect index of the magnitude of the fast inward Na+ current (INa). 2. In muscles driven at 0.02 Hz, neither mexiletine (10(-5) M) nor flecainide (10(-6) M) nor the combination of both drugs modified the action potential characteristics. Mexiletine, but not flecainide, increased the effective refractory period/action potential duration ratio; this enhancement was greater when flecainide was also present. 3. Mexiletine or flecainide alone produced a frequency-dependent Vmax block. Although at 0.5 Hz the blockade induced by the combination of flecainide and mexiletine was similar to that produced by flecainide alone, in muscles driven at 1 and 2 Hz the combination increased the magnitude and the onset rate of the Vmax block. 4. The time constant of recovery of Vmax block was similar in the presence of flecainide or the combination mexiletine plus flecainide (tau re = 16.4 +/- 2.3 s and 16.7 +/- 2.7 s, respectively), but the combination decreased the magnitude of the slow component of reactivation induced by flecainide (93.8 +/- 1.5% versus 68.9 +/- 1.7%). Moreover, the combination of both drugs was more effective in inhibiting the Vmax of early test stimuli than either drug alone. 5. It is concluded that the combination of mexiletine and flecainide is synergistic at driving rates faster than 0.5 Hz without detracting from the characteristics of flecainide.[1]


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