Flecainide acetate for treatment of tachyarrhythmias in children: review of world literature on efficacy, safety, and dosing

Am Heart J. 1992 Dec;124(6):1614-21. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(92)90081-6.


A review of all published experience with flecainide in infants, children, and fetuses was performed to evaluate the appropriate place of the drug in pediatric practice and to determine dosing guidelines. A total of 704 case references was generated. Flecainide appeared to be safe (no deaths with usual oral dosing, < 1% serious proarrhythmia) and effective (73% to 100% control, depending on mechanism) in children with supraventricular tachycardia. The drug was very effective for treatment of fetal tachyarrhythmias. Flecainide may not be safe for children who have structurally abnormal hearts and atrial flutter or ventricular arrhythmias. The safety of flecainide for patients with ventricular arrhythmias and normal hearts requires further investigation. Pharmacokinetic data reveal an age-dependent change in elimination half-life. Patients younger than 1 year of age have a plasma elimination half-life that is similar to that in children older than 12 years (i.e., 11 to 12 hours). Children aged 1 to 12 years have a mean elimination half-life of 8 hours. The effective flecainide dose is 100 to 200 mg/m2/day or 1 to 8 mg/kg/day. Toxicity may occur with doses in excess of these ranges, especially when high doses are accompanied by low serum trough levels. Milk blocks flecainide absorption, and toxicity may become manifest when milk products are removed from the diet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / chemically induced
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fetal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Flecainide / pharmacology
  • Flecainide / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Tachycardia / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Flecainide