Understanding Arrythmias and How Multaq Works

Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter

Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are two types of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) that occur when the electrical system that controls your heartbeat is no longer working properly. They both occur in the atria of the heart (the upper chambers).
 
Symptoms may include an irregular heart rhythm, a rapid heart rate, heart palpitations (the sensation that your heart is racing or pounding), or feeling like your heart is fluttering (see Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation). With atrial fibrillation, both the heart rhythm and rate are abnormal; with atrial flutter, only the rate is abnormal.
 
These arrhythmias may cause certain complications, such as:
 
The goals of treatment for atrial fibrillation usually include one or more of the following:
 
  • Return the heartbeat to a normal sinus rhythm, if possible
  • Control the heart rate, if normal sinus rhythm cannot be achieved safely
  • Prevent blood clots from forming by prescribing an anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medication, such as warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®)
  • Treat the underlying causes of the abnormal rhythm and any atrial fibrillation complications
  • Reduce the risk factors that may lead to a worsening of the condition.
     
Multaq is a true anti-arrhythmic medication, meaning that it actually keeps the heart in a normal sinus rhythm, instead of just controlling the heart rate.
 

How Does Multaq Work?

It is not yet clear exactly how Multaq works to treat arrhythmias. Most arrhythmia medications are classified using the Vaughn-Williams classification system, which divides arrhythmia medications into four classes depending on how they work. At this point, it seems that Multaq has activity that belongs to all four of the classes.
 
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Multaq Medication Information

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