Tikosyn Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation.
The first real anti-arrhythmic
drug I took to try to control my Afib was Amiodarone, it made me sicker and I quit taking it before it could work.
The next was Tikosyn or dofetilide.
The worst part about Tikosyn is your doctor will start you on it in the hospital to
check your heart rhythm for the first 3 days of treatment. This will allow your doctor to find the right dose for
you. This is also to minimize one of Tikosyn's side effects
As you can imagine Tikosyn was not my first choice because who wants to go into
the hospital for 3 days, also that side effect (see above) was of concern. My doctor assured me he had never
lost a patient to Tikosyn therapy but I did not want to be his first, he said that if I did develop an
"unfavorable" rhythm call Torsades de pointes I would be in the hospital being monitored so they could fix the
Torsades de pointes, or
simply torsades is a French term that literally means "twisting of the points" and refers to a specific variety of
ventricular tachycardia that exhibits distinct characteristics on the electrocardiogram. (ECG)
Since this is an arrhythmia effecting one of the heart's main pumping chambers -
this is not a good thing. Thus assured I went into the hospital for my Tikosyn. Kidney function also need to
be monitored as the medication can causes serious side effects there as well. If all goes well in your hospital
stay then you are considered able to handle Tikosyn and are good to go.
I was in atrial
fibrillation, with a controlled rhythm (by medicine) when I went in
for my Tikosyn. The second dose I took converted me to Normal Sinus Rhythm. (the Holy Grail of Afib sufferers) I
was VERY pleased. I continued on Tikosyn and in normal sinus rhythm(NSR) for about two years before the Tikosyn
therapy finally failed - see "catheter ablation" here I come,
TIKOSYN does not affect blood pressure. Heart rate is usually decreased by
4-6 beats per minute (bpm) in most patients as it was in my case.
In hemodynamic studies, Tikosyn has no effect on cardiac output and can be
used in patients with ventricular tachycardia, mild to moderate congestive heart failure or angina and either
normal or low left ventricular ejection fraction. There was no increase in heart failure in patients with
significant left ventricular dysfunction.
Taking certain other medicines with Tikosyn can increase the chance that you will
get the dangerous abnormal heartbeat discussed above. See "Torsades de pointes."
Some medicines used to treat heart conditions, high blood pressure, depression and
other mental problems, asthma, allergies, hay fever, skin problems and infections my effect the concentration of
Tikosyn in your blood. Therefore, you should be sure to tell your health care provider about all prescription and
non-prescription medicines you are taking, as well as vitamins, dietary supplements, and any natural or herbal
remedies. Tikosyn has also been used safely in conjunction with pacemakers.
In conclusion - I loved Tikosyn, it gave me a good two years of normal sinus
rhythm before my Afib returned. In that time the medical community has advanced much on the treatment and
cure of Atrial fibrillation and made it easier and more effective to treat with my next step.
On to Catheter Ablation...