Pilsicainide is a class Ic antiarrhythmic agent used for the treatment of supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia. The pharmacodynamic effects of pilsicainide are achieved via selective sodium channel blockade.
In randomized, multicentre trials in patients with atrial fibrillation, restoration of sinus rhythm was achieved in significantly more patients treated with a single oral dose of pilsicainide than those who received placebo, and in a numerically higher proportion of oral pilsicainide than intravenous dis-opyramide recipients.
In another well designed trial in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, the proportion of patients whose arrhythmia converted to normal sinus rhythm was significantly higher among those randomized to receive 2 weeks of oral pilsicainide therapy than among patients who received placebo.
Over a 1-year period, both pilsicainide and cibenzoline (another class Ic agent) were effective in preventing recurrence of atrial fibrillation in a substantial proportion of patients in a single-centre crossover trial. There were no between-group differences in the subgroup of patients with shorter-duration atrial fibrillation, but actuarial results over 1 year significantly favoured cibenzoline over pilsicainide in patients with longer-duration atrial fibrillation.
Both oral and intravenous pilsicainide have demonstrated efficacy in ventricular tachyar-rhythmias, including ventricular extrasystole.
Clinical trial and postmarketing surveillance data indicate that pilsicainide is generally well tolerated in most patients.
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Acknowledgements and Disclosures
The manuscript was reviewed by: J.R. Ehrlich, Division of Cardiology, Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany; T. Watanabe, First Department of Internal Medicine, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Yamagata, Japan.
The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding. During the peer review process, the manufacturer of the agent under review was offered an opportunity to comment on the article. Changes based on any comments received were made on the basis of scientific and editorial merit.
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