Pharmacokinetic significance of serum reverse T3 levels during amiodarone treatment: a potential method for monitoring chronic drug therapy.
We studied the antiarrhythmic effects of amiodarone, 600-1400 mg/day, in 18 patients with refractory arrhythmias, and related to drug efficacy and side effects to serum levels of T4, reverse T3 (rT3) and the QTc interval. In the 11 patients with ventricular arrhythmias, premature complexes were reduced by 90-98%, and complex ectopy and runs of ventricular tachycardia were abolished; in the seven patients with paroxysmal atrial flutter, there were no recurrences on stable drug therapy. The QTc lengthened by 11.6% (p less than 0.01), T4 increased by 31.6-63.3% (p less than 0.001) and rT3 increased by 82.9-176.8% (p less than 0.001) as a function of dose and duration of amiodarone therapy. A close correlation was found between rT3 (normal up to 50 ng/dl) and drug efficacy and some of the drug side effects; arrhythmia suppression occurred at levels of 55-100 ng/dl, and some of the known side effects at levels of 100-110 ng/dl. When amiodarone was stopped in nine patients, the changes in QTc, T4 and rT3 regressed toward normal and arrhythmia recurred in eight 2-20 weeks (mean 7.4 weeks) and when rT3 levels fell below 55 ng/dl; arrhythmia resuppression was achieved 3-28 days (mean 11 days) after resumption of amiodarone therapy. The indirect therapeutic half-life of amiodarone in seven patients, computed from the semilogarithmic plots of plasma rT3 after cessation of amiodarone therapy, ranged from 25 to 55 days (mean 35 days). The data suggest that rT3 levels may be useful in monitoring the efficacy and certain side effects of amiodarone.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association