Complete List of AFib Medication

 

Beta-blockers

These drugs help lower your heart rate. They do this by blocking the effects of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. Beta-blockers are often given to people with AFib. These drugs can also treat high blood pressure, anxiety, migraines, and other issues.

Examples of beta-blockers include:

  • acebutolol (Sectral)
  • atenolol (Tenormin)
  • betaxolol (Kerlone)
  • labetolol (Trandate)
  • bisoprolol (Zebeta)
  • carvedilol (Coreg)
  • metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor)
  • metoprolol succinate (Toprol-KL)
  • nebivolol (Bystolic)
  • penbutolol (Levatol)
  • propranolol
  • sotalol hydrochloride (Betapace)
  • timolol
  • nadolol (Corgard)
  • pindolol (Visken)

Calcium channel blockers

Calcium channel blockers also slow down your heart rate. These drugs help relax the smooth muscle lining of the arteries. They also keep the heart from absorbing calcium. Calcium can strengthen the heart’s contractions. These actions mean that these drugs help relax the heart muscle and widen the arteries.

Only two calcium channel blockers are centrally acting. This means that they help lower your heart rate. They’re often used to treat AFib. These drugs include:

  • verapamil hydrochloride (Calan SR, Verelan)
  • diltiazem hydrochloride (Cardizem CD, Dilacor XR)

Other calcium channel blockers are peripherally acting. They also relax blood vessels, but they aren’t helpful for AFib heart rate problems.

Digitalis glycosides

The main digitalis drug is digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxin). This drug helps strengthen heart contractions. Doctors often prescribe it as a regular part of heart failure treatment. Digoxin also helps slow the speed of electrical activity from the atria to the ventricles. This action helps control heart rate.

Sodium channel blockers

These drugs help control heart rhythm. They do this by reducing how fast the heart muscle conducts electricity. They focus on electrical activity in the sodium channels of the heart cells.

Examples of these drugs include:

  • disopyramide
  • mexiletine
  • quinidine
  • procainamide
  • propafenone (Rythmol)
  • flecainide (Tambocor)

Potassium channel blockers

Like sodium channel blockers, potassium channel blockers also help control heart rhythm. They slow down electrical conduction in the heart. They do so by interfering with conduction that occurs through the potassium channels in the cells.

Examples of these drugs include:

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  • dronedarone (Multaq)
  • sotalol (Betapace)

Dronedarone (Multaq) is a new drug that is only used to prevent AFib in people who’ve had it in the past. People with permanent AFib should not use this drug. Sotalol (Betapace) is both a beta-blocker and a potassium channel blocker. That means it controls both heart rate and heart rhythm.