Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology

Living Edition
| Editors: Stefan Offermanns, Walter Rosenthal

Antiarrhythmic Drugs

  • Jordi Heijman
  • Dobromir DobrevEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21573-6_164-1



Antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) are a group of pharmaceuticals used to treat or prevent heart rhythm disorders (cardiac arrhythmias) by altering the electrophysiological properties of the heart, typically through direct interaction with ion channels, receptors, or pumps/exchangers (Dan et al. 2018).

Basic Characteristics

Clinical Use

During a normal heartbeat, electrical impulses generated in the sinoatrial node conduct across the atria to the atrioventricular node. After a brief delay, the electrical impulse rapidly conducts along the His-Purkinje conduction system, resulting in synchronous activation of both ventricles that is necessary for optimal pump function of the heart. During cardiac arrhythmias, electrical impulse formation and/or conduction is disturbed, leading to excessively fast, slow, or irregular electrical activity of one or more parts of the heart. Although cardiac arrhythmias can be completely asymptomatic, they often lead...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cardiology, CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases, Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life SciencesMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute of Pharmacology, West German Heart and Vascular CenterUniversity Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany