, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 381-386

Adjunctive therapy for recurrent ventricular tachycardia in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators

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Abstract

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are now the mainstay of therapy in patients with sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular fibrillation, resuscitated sudden cardiac death, or certain high-risk markers for these arrhythmic events. Although ICDs in such patients can be life-saving, they can impair quality of life when painful or frequent discharges occur or when residual VT symptoms recur prior to delivery of ICD therapies. As such, antiarrhythmic drugs often are employed in an attempt to reduce the triggering tachyarrhythmic events. Recently, studies with β-blockers, sotalol, amiodarone, and the investigational agent azimilide have been performed to objectify the efficacy, benefits, or risks of such therapies when administered to patients with ICDs. This review describes the considerations important to the use of these therapies in ICD patients and the results and applicability of these investigative studies.