Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lessening Medication For Atrial Fibrillation Does Not Reduce Side Effects, Study Finds

Date:
October 14, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Reducing how often a patient receives amiodarone, a medication used for suppressing atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) but which causes side effects, did not decrease the overall amount of amiodarone-related and heart disease related side effects, but did increase the rate of atrial fibrillation recurrence and the risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular hospitalizations, according to a new study.

Reducing how often a patient receives amiodarone, a medication used for suppressing atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) but which causes side effects, did not decrease the overall amount of amiodarone-related and heart disease related side effects, but did increase the rate of atrial fibrillation recurrence and the risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular hospitalizations, according to a new study.

The adverse events caused by amiodarone are mostly associated with high daily dosages and long-term therapy, according to background information in the article.

Sheba Ahmed, M.D., of the University of Groningen, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a study to compare the effects of episodic vs. continuous amiodarone treatment on major events related to amiodarone use and to determine if episodic treatment could effectively suppress atrial fibrillation. The trial included 209 patients with recurrent atrial fibrillation who were randomly assigned to receive either episodic or continuous amiodarone treatment. Episodic amiodarone treatment was discontinued after a month of sinus rhythm (the normal regular rhythm of the heart) and reinitiated if atrial fibrillation relapsed. In the continuous treatment group amiodarone was maintained throughout.

After a median (midpoint) follow-up of 2.1 years, 51 (48 percent) of the patients in the episodic vs. 64 (62 percent) in the continuous treatment group had sinus rhythm. The researchers found that in the episodic group, more atrial fibrillation recurrences occurred (80 percent) than in the continuous treatment group (54 percent). The incidence of the primary outcome for the study—any amiodarone or underlying heart disease–related major event—was 35 percent in the episodic vs. 33 percent in the continuous treatment group. There were differences in the incidence of amiodarone major events (19 percent, episodic vs. 24 percent, continuous) and underlying heart disease–related major events (16 percent, episodic vs. 9 percent, continuous), although these differences did not reach statistical significance. All-cause deaths and cardiovascular hospitalizations were higher among those receiving episodic treatment (53 percent vs. 34 percent).

"Considering the above, episodic amiodarone treatment cannot be advocated for most patients with persistent atrial fibrillation," the authors write. "This study shows that episodic amiodarone treatment—in contrast to our expectations—has no clinical advantage over continuous treatment because it did not lower morbidity in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation over 2 years of follow-up."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sheba Ahmed; Michiel Rienstra; Harry J. G. M. Crijns; Thera P. Links; Ans C. P. Wiesfeld; Hans L. Hillege; Hans A. Bosker; Dirk J. A. Lok; Dirk J. Van Veldhuisen; Isabelle C. Van Gelder; for the CONVERT Investigators. Continuous vs Episodic Prophylactic Treatment With Amiodarone for the Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation: A Randomized Trial. JAMA, 2008;300(15):1784-1792 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Lessening Medication For Atrial Fibrillation Does Not Reduce Side Effects, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014171001.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, October 14). Lessening Medication For Atrial Fibrillation Does Not Reduce Side Effects, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014171001.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Lessening Medication For Atrial Fibrillation Does Not Reduce Side Effects, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014171001.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins