The proarrhythmic effects of flecainide

Drugs. 1985:29 Suppl 4:45-53. doi: 10.2165/00003495-198500294-00010.


Flecainide acetate, a new potent class I antiarrhythmic agent, was administered to 152 patients (orally to 46, intravenously to 106) over a period of 22 months. Seven patients developed proarrhythmic effects. The only conduction abnormalities induced were PR interval prolongation and QRS complex widening, and no patient developed significant sinus bradyarrhythmias; patients with known serious abnormalities of impulse generation or conduction were excluded from this study. Five patients, of whom only 3 had pre-existing ventricular arrhythmias, developed ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. QT and QTc interval prolongation was observed, but was due to QRS complex widening rather than an increase in the JT interval. A patient with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome had an inducible orthodromic atrioventricular tachycardia before flecainide administration, but only an antidromic tachycardia was induced after taking the drug. In 1 patient, flecainide administration resulted in an increase of atrial flutter cycle length, which resulted in the development of 1:1 atrioventricular conduction rate, and, overall, a faster ventricular rate. Two patients who developed ventricular arrhythmias were taking other antiarrhythmic agents, and in this series proarrhythmic effects occurred with both normal and high flecainide concentrations. Other published series are also summarised.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / adverse effects*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Flecainide
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperidines / adverse effects*


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Piperidines
  • Flecainide