Chapter 17

Antiarrhythmic Drugs

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Define antiarrhythmic drugs and their utility

  • Categorize antiarrhythmics based on the mode of action

  • Describe the synthesis, mode of action, and dose administered from each class of antiarrhythmics

17.1 INTRODUCTION

Antiarrhythmic drugs are medicines that correct irregular heartbeats and slow down hearts that beat too fast. The heart is a muscle that works like a pump. It is divided into four chambers, two atria at the top of the heart and two ventricles at the bottom. The heart beats (contracts) when an electrical impulse from the heart’s ‘natural pacemaker”—the sinoatrial (SA) node—moves through it. The normal sequence begins in the right atrium, spreads throughout the atria, and to ...

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