Electrophysiologic actions of O-demethyl encainide: an active metabolite.
Differences between the electrophysiologic actions of the antiarrhythmic agent encainide have been reported after short-term intravenous and oral administration. Only prolongation of the HV interval and QRS duration have been described immediately after short-term intravenous administration of encainide in dogs and man. However, during oral therapy or more prolonged infusions, prolongation of the AH interval and atrial and ventricular effective refractory periods have also occurred. In most patients receiving encainide therapy, metabolites (O-demethyl encainide and 3-methoxy-O-demethyl encainide) accumulate during prolonged therapy to concentrations greater than those of the parent drug. We compared the electrophysiologic action of O-demethyl encainide with that of saline in anesthetized dogs to determine if this metabolite has pharmacologic activity and whether its electrophysiologic effects could account for the disparities noted between effects of intravenous and oral encainide therapy. An initial pharmacokinetic evaluation allowed design of a series of loading and maintenance infusions that produced plasma concentrations similar to those seen during encainide therapy in man (concentration after first maintenance dose, 149 +/- 27 ng/ml [+/- SE] and after second maintenance dose, 230 +/- 45 ng/ml). Significant increases in atrial effective refractory period and ventricular refractoriness, and prolongation of AH interval and HV conduction time were observed. These effects are similar to those reported after prolonged oral encainide therapy but are substantially different from those seen after short-term infusions of encainide. These findings indicate that the difference between the electrophysiologic actions of intravenous and oral encainide may be due to pharmacologic effects of at least one encainide metabolite, O-demethyl encainide.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association