Introduction: We compared the efficacy and safety of amiodarone and dronedarone in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (AF).
Methods: Five hundred and four amiodarone-naïve patients were randomized to receive dronedarone 400 mg bid (n = 249) or amiodarone 600 mg qd for 28 days then 200 mg qd (n = 255) for at least 6 months. Primary composite endpoint was recurrence of AF (including unsuccessful electrical cardioversion, no spontaneous conversion and no electrical cardioversion) or premature study discontinuation. Main safety endpoint (MSE) was occurrence of thyroid-, hepatic-, pulmonary-, neurologic-, skin-, eye-, or gastrointestinal-specific events, or premature study drug discontinuation following an adverse event.
Results: Median treatment duration was 7 months. The primary composite endpoint was 75.1 and 58.8% with dronedarone and amiodarone, respectively, at 12 months (hazard ratio [HR] 1.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28-1.98; P < 0.0001), mainly driven by AF recurrence with dronedarone compared with amiodarone (63.5 vs 42.0%). AF recurrence after successful cardioversion was 36.5 and 24.3% with dronedarone and amiodarone, respectively. Premature drug discontinuation tended to be less frequent with dronedarone (10.4 vs 13.3%). MSE was 39.3 and 44.5% with dronedarone and amiodarone, respectively, at 12 months (HR = 0.80; 95% CI 0.60-1.07; P = 0.129), and mainly driven by fewer thyroid, neurologic, skin, and ocular events in the dronedarone group.
Conclusion: In this short-term study, dronedarone was less effective than amiodarone in decreasing AF recurrence, but had a better safety profile, specifically with regard to thyroid and neurologic events and a lack of interaction with oral anticoagulants.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00489736.