Heart Rhythm Society

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 10, 2014

Don’t use Vaughan-Williams Class Ic antiarrhythmic drugs as a first-line agent for the maintenance of sinus rhythm in patients with ischemic heart disease who have experienced prior myocardial infarction.

Class Ic antiarrhythmic agents (i.e., flecainide and encainide,) have been demonstrated to increase mortality in patients treated with these agents after myocardial infarction, and as a result, current clinical professional society guidelines recommend against (Class III, contraindicated) the use of these agents (and propafenone, because it is also a Class Ic agent) in patients with known coronary artery disease with left ventricular dysfunction or concern for possible ischemic myocardium at risk.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) asked its standing Quality Improvement Subcommittee, comprised of twelve experienced physicians and allied professionals, to recommend five procedures that should not be performed or should be performed more rarely and only in specific circumstances. The recommendations were identified based on existing appropriate use criteria and guidelines. The HRS Health Policy Committee then reviewed the five recommendations before sending the list to the HRS Board of Trustees for final review and approval.

HRS’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at http://www.hrsonline.org/About-HRS/Heart-Rhythm-Society-Governance/Disclosure-Policy#axzz2ILTZwIkZ.


The Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST) Investigators. Preliminary report: effect of encainide and flecainide on mortality in a randomized trial of arrhythmia suppression after myocardial infarction. The Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST) Investigators. N Engl J Med. 1989 Aug 10;321(6):406–12.

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