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September 9, 1996

Intravenous Amiodarone for the Conversion of Atrial Fibrillation

Arch Intern Med. 1996;156(16):1889. doi:10.1001/archinte.1996.00440150155017

I read with great interest in the January 8, 1996, issue of theArchives the article by Kerin et al1 concerning the use of intravenous amiodarone for the conversion of chronic atrial fibrillation. As a cardiologist in a rural hospital in western New York (Olean, NY), I have been tempted 2 or 3 times to use amiodarone for treatment of this condition. I suspect that because of practical considerations in this day and age, however, intravenous amiodarone will not be used for the treatment of atrial fibrillation; I remember how I had to fight, and how difficult it was, to get intravenous amiodarone in the formulary for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. The cost of the drug is so high that it would be an unusual pharmacy and therapeutics committee that would allow its use for anything other than indications approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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