Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 42–44 | Cite as

Efficacy of flecainide in patients with supraventricular arrhythmias and respiratory insufficiency

  • F. Barranco
  • M. Sanchez
  • J. Rodriguez
  • M. Guerrero
Brief Reports



Evaluation of efficacy of intravenous flecainide to revert supraventricular arrhythmias to sinus rhythm in patients with respiratory insufficiency.


Comparative randomized prospective trial.


ICU in a University Hospital


30 patients with acute respiratory insufficiency or acute exscerbation of chronic respiratory insufficiency and supraventricular arrhythmias. Intravenous flecainide was administered to 15 patients (Group A) (2 mg/kg for 10 min and continuous perfusion of 1.5 mg/kg for 1 h). Intravenous verapamil was administered to 15 patients (Group B) (0.15 mg/kg for 5 min and continuous perfusion of 0.005 mg/kg/min for 1 h).

Measurements and results

The categories of patients' arrhythmias were: Group A — atrial fibrillation (AF) in 5 cases, atrial flutter (AFl) in 2, multifocal atrial tachycardia (MAT) in 4 and other supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) in 4. Group B — AF in 6 cases, AFL in 2, MAT in 2 and SVT in 5 cases. Flecainide reverted arrhythmias to sinus rhythm in 12 out of 15 cases (80%); of these 12, 11 reverted with the initial bolus. Verapamil reverted 5 out of 12 cases (33.3%,p<0.01). No significant secondary adverse effects were detected.


Intravenous flecainide is an effective antiarrhythmic drug to treat acute supraventricular arrhythmias in patients with respiratory insufficiency.

Key words

Flecainide Supraventricular arrhythmias Respiratory insufficiency 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Barranco
    • 1
  • M. Sanchez
    • 1
  • J. Rodriguez
    • 1
  • M. Guerrero
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Intensive MedicineValme Universitary HospitalSevillaSpain

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