Long-term tocainide therapy for ventricular arrhythmias.
Long-term tocainide therapy has been evaluated in 17 patients with ventricular arrhythmias. Ventricular tachycardia and/or fibrillation was recurrent and sustained in nine patients, and symptomatic but unsustained in three others. Five patients had frequent but only mildly symptomatic ventricular irritability. In all patients, arrhythmias could not be managed with quinidine, procainamide or propranolol. Tocainide doses ranged from 300 to 700 mg every 8 hours (mean steady-state plasma concentrations ranged from 5.75 to 12.18 microgram/ml). Tocainide therapy was unsuccessful in eight patients; three died during therapy and five had no antiarrhythmic response. The data suggest that evaluation of long-term drug efficacy, using the criterion of reduction of asymptomatic arrhythmias, is best documented by multiple sequential ambulatory electrocardiographic recordings, both on and off the drug. Tocainide controlled arrhythmias in nine patients (53%), with criteria of success being continued reduction of ectopic beats and/or control of symptomatic recurrences. Seven patients remain on therapy. Side effects generally have been minor and well-tolerated.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association