(Science: cardiology, drug) a local anaesthetic and cardiac depressant used as an antiarrhythmia agent. Its actions are more intense and its effects more prolonged than those of procaine but its duration of action is shorter than that of bupivacaine or prilocaine.

Pharmacological action: anaesthetics, local, anti-arrhythmia agents. Decreases automaticity, depresses conduction in reentrant pathways and may raise fibrillation threshold, especially in combination with bretylium.

Uses: The drug of first choice for ventricular arrhythmias, ventricular ectopy, and wide complex tachycardias of unknown origin.

Dose: 1-1.5 mg/kg iv bolus, followed by additional 0.5-1.5 mg/kg every 5-10 min to a total of 3 mg/kg. Can be administered via the endotracheal tube. Use 2 to 2.5 times the intravenous dose. Upon return of circulation, use continuous infusion at 2 - 4 mg/min. Reduce the maintenance dose if decreased cardiac output or hepatic failure or more than 70 years of age.

potential complications: dizziness, drowsiness, disorientation, seizures, hypotension - causes vasodilati 529 on; myocardial depression at higher concentrations; heart block - only rarely seen with high levels.

chemical name: 2-(diethylamino)-N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-acetamide

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