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July 27, 1979

MexiletineUse in Control of Chronic Drug-Resistant Ventricular Arrhythmia

Author Affiliations

From the Heart Institute, Rothschild University Hospital, Aba Khoushy School of Medicine-Technion, Haifa, Israel. Dr Cooper is now with the Department of Pediatrics, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Oakland, Calif.

JAMA. 1979;242(4):337-339. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300040023016

The antiarrhythmic efficacy of mexiletine hydrochloride was studied in ten selected patients with stable resistant ventricular ectopic activity in whom lidocaine, procainamide, and other antiarrhythmic agents were of no avail. Continuous Holter ECG tapes were analyzed before, during, and after mexiletine.

Orally administered mexiletine was found to be very effective in treatment of drug-resistant ventricular arrhythmias, with total abolition of arrhythmia in six and satisfactory control in two additional patients. Long-term follow-up confirmed maintenance of antiarrhythmic efficacy, while biochemical and hematological screening demonstrated no abnormalities. The long therapeutic half-life of the drug allowed convenient dosage schedule and good compliance.

Its efficacy, low frequency of side effects, and long half-life make it an agent of notable value in suppressing ventricular arrhythmias.

(JAMA 242:337-339, 1979)