Sotalol: A New Agent for the Treatment of Ventricular Arrhythmias

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Sotalol was developed as a nonselective beta-blocker in the 1960s for the treatment of hypertension and later for cardiac risk management after myocardial infarction. Extensive research has since well described class III type electrophysiologic effects on the repolarization of myocardial fibers. Sotalol prolongs and homogenizes ventricular refractoriness, resulting in good antifibrillatory/antitachycardia protection. The unique combination of beta-blockade and antiarrhythmic effects probably will promote sotalol's use in postmyocardial infarction patients with ventricular tachycardia and sudden death. This article summarizes the pharmacologic and cardiovascular effects of this new drug, outlining its clinical use.

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