Intravenous lidocaine versus intravenous amiodarone (in a new aqueous formulation) for incessant ventricular tachycardia

Am J Cardiol. 2002 Oct 15;90(8):853-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(02)02707-8.


The effectiveness of intravenous amiodarone for the treatment of incessant (shock resistant) ventricular tachycardia (VT) has not been established. This study evaluated the efficacy of a water-soluble amiodarone preparation or lidocaine for the treatment of shock-resistant VT. The trial was a double-blinded parallel design. Patients were randomized to receive up to 2 boluses of either 150 mg intravenous amiodarone or 2 boluses of 100 mg lidocaine followed by a 24-hour infusion. If the first assigned medication failed to terminate VT, the patient was crossed over to the alternative therapy. Twenty-nine patients were randomized to the study (18 received amiodarone and 11 received lidocaine). There were no significant differences between groups with regard to baseline characteristics. Immediate VT termination was achieved in 14 patients (78%) with amiodarone versus 3 patients (27%) on lidocaine (p <0.05). After 1 hour, 12 patients (67%) on amiodarone and 1 patient (9%) on lidocaine were alive and free of VT (p <0.01). Amiodarone had a 33% drug failure rate, whereas there was a 91% drug failure rate for lidocaine. The 24-hour survival was 39% on amiodarone and 9% on lidocaine (p <0.01). Drug-related hypotension with aqueous amiodarone was less frequent than with lidocaine. This study found that amiodarone is more effective than lidocaine in the treatment of shock-resistant VT.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amiodarone / administration & dosage*
  • Amiodarone / adverse effects
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / adverse effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electric Countershock
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Lidocaine / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Failure


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Lidocaine
  • Amiodarone