New Arrhythmia Drug Modestly Effective

LOS ANGELES, April 8 (UPI) — U.S. medical scientists say they’ve reviewed the controversial anti-arrhythmic drug Multaq and found it only modestly effective, with no clear safety benefit.

The review of Multaq (dronedarone), conducted by researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, assessed data submitted during the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval process.

The scientists said they determined dronedarone is 50 percent less effective than amiodarone (Cordarone), a frequently used treatment for atrial fibrillation, which is a common type of heart rhythm disorder. Despite initial hopes that dronedarone would cause fewer side effects than amiodarone, the researchers said their findings did not support that hypothesis.

“We believe that dronedarone should only be used as a second-line or third-line agent in individuals that are not able to tolerate amiodarone or other first-line agents recommended by the guidelines,” said Dr. Sanjay Kaul, director of the institute’s Vascular Physiology and Thrombosis Research Laboratory and the study’s senior author.

Dronedarone is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, a Paris-headquartered, multinational pharmaceutical company.

The review is to appear in the April 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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