Submitted by Dr T on September 25, 2010 – 9:11am
Beta-blockers (there are many of them) have been shown to cut down both on symptomatic PVC’s in some patients, as well as decrease the risk of sudden death in high-risk patients. In terms of treatment for the palpitations associated with PVC’s, they can often be quite effective but do have side effects which may require their discontinuation.
Specific antiarrhythmics are designed to cut down on the number of PVC’s by altering the electrical properties of the cardiac muscle. Every “anti”-arrhythmic however, has its own “pro”-arrhythmic properties which have the potential to make the rhythm worse, sometimes dangerously worse. Many trials of medications designed to improve the survival of some types of patients with ventricular arrhythmias actually did the opposite. These drugs have to be used carefully in selected patients who will also need to be monitored closely.