Drug-induced atrial fibrillation

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Dec 7;44(11):2117-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2004.08.053.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained rhythm disorder observed in clinical practice and predominantly associated with cardiovascular disorders such as coronary heart disease and hypertension. However, several classes of drugs may induce AF in patients without apparent heart disease or may precipitate the onset of AF in patients with preexisting heart disease. We reviewed the literature on drug-induced AF, using the PubMed/Medline and Micromedex databases and lateral references. Successively, we discuss the potential role in the onset of AF of cardiovascular drugs, respiratory system drugs, cytostatics, central nervous system drugs, genitourinary system drugs, and some miscellaneous agents. Drug-induced AF may play a role in only a minority of the patients presenting with AF. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize drugs or other agents as a potential cause, especially in the elderly, because increasing age is associated with multiple drug use and a high incidence of AF. This may contribute to timely diagnosis and management of drug-induced AF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Atrial Fibrillation / chemically induced*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Agents / adverse effects
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Respiratory System Agents / adverse effects
  • Tocolytic Agents / adverse effects


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Central Nervous System Agents
  • Respiratory System Agents
  • Tocolytic Agents