Pharmacy and Wellness Review


As of 2004, it was estimated that 2.2 million Americans were diagnosed with paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) resulting in one out of every six strokes in the United States. AF leads to a reduction in pumping efficiency of the heart increasing the risk of several serious sequelae such as thromboembolic stroke and congestive heart failure (CHF). It also results in a reduced quality of life for the patients suffering from the disease. Patients with AF require appropriate antiarrhythmic therapy to control symptoms and prevent adverse effects of the condition. Multaq® (dronedarone), an antiarrhythmic drug approved for AF in patients in sinus rhythm with a history of paroxysmal or persistent AF, showed promise as an alternative to amiodarone therapy after its approval in July 2009. However, recent reports have shown that dronedarone use doubles mortality risk and serious adverse events in certain patient populations specifically those with heart failure or permanent AF. This review evaluates the research that brought dronedarone to the market and reassesses the appropriateness of its use based upon recent findings.



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