What is Ventricular Fibrillation?
Ventricular Fibrillation is a change in your normal heart rhythm. In this condition, the ventricles lose their coordinated contraction, making them quiver.
Ventricular Fibrillation is a life-threatening condition that requires emergency medical help. It is the main cause of cardiac arrest and even sudden cardiac death. The heart is not able to pump blood, causing cardiac arrest.
If not treated, cardiogenic shock and the cessation of blood flow will occur.
How is Ventricular Fibrillation treated?
The most important thing is to convert this arrhythmia into the normal sinus rhythm, so the heart will be able to function normally again.
Ventricular Fibrillation can be converted with the help of:
- Implantation of an electric defibrillator
- Administration of antiarrhythmics like Amiodarone or Lidocaine.
What is Amiodarone?
Amiodarone is an antiarrhythmic used to treat atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. It can be administrated orally or intravenously, and belongs to the III group of antiarrhythmics.
Amiodarone should be used only by prescription, and exactly how your doctor prescribed it, because the side effects of Amiodarone can be life threatening when not used as recommended. It can be taken with or without food, but always at the same time.
The initial recommended dose of Amiodarone is 800-1600mg daily. These doses are recommended only for the first weeks until the arrhythmia is under control. Later the dose is reduced to 600-800 mg daily. The maintenance dose is later reduced to 400mg daily. Your doctor might prescribe Amiodarone as a single dose, or even twice a day.
Intravenous administration of Amioadarone is given only during hospitalization.
While on medication with Amiodarone, be very careful and avoid sunlight or tanning beds, because Amiodarone will make your skin more sensitive and it will get sunburned very easily.
While on medication with Amiodarone, avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit drinks as they can interact and lead to some very serious and dangerous side effects.
Amiodarone is not recommended if you are pregnant, intend to get pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. Amiodarone is contraindicated if you suffer from nodal bradycardia and different grades of atrio-ventricular block.
What is Lidocaine?
Lidocaine is an antiarrhythmic, but also a local anesthetic. It belongs to the I group of antiarrhythmics.
Lidocaine can be administrated as an intravenous bonus (a single dose) or as a continuous intravenous infusion.
Lidocaine is contraindicated if you suffer from different grades of atrio-ventricular block, allergic reactions to this medicine, Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome, Adams-Stroke Syndrome, and some other conditions.
Lidocaine should be used very carefully in elderly patients, and patients who also suffer from hypotension, bradycardia, liver diseases, and porphyria.
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