Disopyramide for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Pragmatic Reappraisal of an Old Drug

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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic cardiac disorder characterized by unexplained left ventricular hypertrophy in the absence of other cardiac or systemic etiologies. Approximately two-thirds of patients with HCM develop left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) obstruction with or without provocation, whereas nearly half develop heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Medical management of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is based on the presence of symptoms and LVOT obstruction and frequently includes β-blockers or verapamil. Disopyramide is a class Ia antiarrhythmic that historically was used for the treatment of arrhythmias; however, its contemporary use is often reserved for patients with HCM who are persistently symptomatic despite β-blockers or verapamil and have evidence of LVOT obstruction. The pharmacologic rationale for use of disopyramide is largely based on its strong negative inotropic property. Three clinical studies have showed significant improvements in heart failure symptoms and a reduction in the need for invasive therapy in patients treated with disopyramide. Appropriate dosing and monitoring of disopyramide are important to mitigate the potential for anticholinergic adverse events and proarrhythmias. Disopyramide is a safe and effective medication that reduces heart failure symptoms and LVOT gradient and delays the need for invasive therapy in patients with obstructive HCM.

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