Antiarrhythmic agent

Plot of membrane potential versus time. The initial resting phase (region 4) is negative and constant flowed by sharp rise (0) to a peak (1).  The plateau phase (2) is slightly below the peak. The plateau phase is followed by a fairly rapid return (3) back to the resting potential (4).
Antiarrhythmic agents, also known as cardiac dysrhythmia medications, are a group of pharmaceuticals that are used to suppress abnormal rhythms of the heart (cardiac arrhythmias), such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation.

Many attempts have been made to classify antiarrhythmic agents. The problem arises from the fact that many of the antiarrhythmic agents have multiple modes of action, making any classification imprecise.

The Vaughan Williams classification was introduced in 1970 by Miles Vaughan Williams.

Miles was the tutor for Pharmacology at Hertford College, Oxford; one of his students, Bramah N. Singh, contributed to the development of the classification system, and had a subsequent eminent career in the United States; the system is therefore sometimes known as the Singh-Vaughan Williams classification.

The five main classes in the Vaughan Williams classification of antiarrhythmic agents are:

With regards to management of atrial fibrillation, classes I and III are used in rhythm control as medical cardioversion agents, while classes II and IV are used as rate-control agents.

This page was last edited on 20 May 2018, at 12:53.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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