Long-term management of sustained, recurrent, symptomatic ventricular tachycardia with amiodarone.
Twenty-three patients with sustained, recurrent, symptomatic ventricular tachycardia were treated with oral amiodarone. Initial doses were 600-2000 mg/day and maintenance doses were 200-1200 mg/day. Amiodarone was highly effective in 20 patients (87%), seven of whom had a follow-up of 30 months or longer, including two who were followed for 5 years. Three patients died within the first 45 days, three died suddenly after a follow-up of 33.5 months, and four had a nonarrhythmic death after a follow-up of 25 months. Fifteen patients (65%) had no recurrence during a follow-up of 21.5 months, while five (22%) had isolated recurrences during a follow-up of 32.2 months. The average maintenance dose was 713 mg/day in the 15 patients who did not have recurrences and 375 mg/day in the five patients who had recurrences (p less than 0.001). Both short- and long-term tolerance were excellent and there was not a single case in which treatment had to be discontinued. The main disadvantage of amiodarone was that it took an average of 9.5 days to reach anti-arrhythmic efficacy. The main advantages were prolonged duration of action (recurrences occurred only 15-60 days after the drug was discontinued or the dose lowered, virtual absence of contraindications, doses as high as 2000 mg/day were safe and patient compliance was excellent.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association