, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 93–95 | Cite as

Current Classification of Antiarrhythmic Drugs as a Guide to Their Rational Clinical Use

  • Donald C. Harrison
Leading Article


The Harrison modification of the Vaughn Williams classification scheme for Class I antiarrhythmic drugs has been widely accepted. It has important clinical and electrophysiological bases, and recent membrane classification based on tightness of drug coupling to sodium channels in cardiac muscle and His-Purkinje tissue further supports the modification. This scheme enables the clinician to predict appropriate agents for patients with particular arrhythmia syndromes and to effectively combine drugs to treat life-threatening arrhythmias. As new drugs are tested and classified, it should continue to prove useful to electrophysiologists and arrhythmia specialists in the future.


Quinidine Antiarrhythmic Drug Disopyramide Propafenone Mexiletine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Campbell TJ. Kinetics of onset of rate dependent effects of Class I drugs are important in determining their effects on refractoriness in guinea-pig ventricle and provide a basis for their subclassification. Cardiovascular Research 17: 344–352, 1983PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Harrison DC (Ed.). Symposium on perspectives on the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias. American Journal of Cardiology 52: IC–2C, 1983Google Scholar
  3. Harrison DC. Antiarrhythmic drug classification: new science and practical applications. American Journal of Cardiology 56: 185–187, 1985PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Harrison DC, Winkle RA, Sami M, Mason JW. Encainide: a new and potent antiarrhythmic agent. In Harrison (Ed.) Cardiac arrhythmias: a decade of progress, pp. 315–330, G.K. Hall Medical Publishers, Boston, 1981Google Scholar
  5. Keefe DLD, Kates RE, Harrison DC. New antiarrhythmic drugs: their place in therapy. Drugs 22: 363–400, 1981PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Vaughn Williams EM. Classification of antiarrhythmic drugs. In Sandoe et al. (Eds) Cardiac arrhythmias, pp. 449–473, Ad Astra, Sodertalje, Sweden, 1970Google Scholar
  7. Vaughn Williams EM. Disopyramide. In Garfein (Ed.) Clinical pharmacology of cardiac antiarrhythmic agents: classical and current concepts reevaluated. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 432: 189–200, 1984Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ADIS Press Limited 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald C. Harrison
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of CardiologyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations