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

Comparison of procainamide and mexiletine in prevention of ventricular arrhythmias after acute myocardial infarction.

The incidence of ventricular arrhythmias after myocardial infarction has been compared in a controlled study of procainamide, mexiletine, and placebo. Sixty male patients who has sustained a myocardial infarction and had received lignocaine for ventricular tachycardia or ventricular ectopic beats which were R-on-T, multiform, or close-coupled took part. The efficacy of the drugs was evaluated by continuous 24-hour recordings of the electrocardiogram on the 4th and 10th days after admission to the study. Procainamide was given as 500 mg. 4-hourly and mexiletine as 250 mg. 8-hourly with corresponding placebo regimens for 12 days. 77% of patients receiving placebo showed serious ventricular rhythm disorders compared with 33% receiving antiarrhythmic therapy (p smaller than 0.05). Although only 35% of patients receiving procainamide achieved accepted therapeutic plasma concentrations compared with 95% of those receiving mexiletine, both drugs were equally effective antiarrhythmically. The only major adverse effect of therapy noted was development of a positive antinuclear factor in a procainamide-treated patient. These results demonstrate the efficacy of oral antiarrhythmic agents in the management of ventricular arrhythmias after acute myocardial infarction. Mexiletine has the advantage of less frequent administration and lower toxicity.[1]


  1. Comparison of procainamide and mexiletine in prevention of ventricular arrhythmias after acute myocardial infarction. Campbell, R.W., Dolder, M.A., Prescott, L.F., Talbot, R.G., Murray, A., Julian, D.G. Lancet (1975) [Pubmed]
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