Abnormal procainamide pharmacokinetics (prolonged half-life and decreased volume of distribution) and pharmacodynamics (decreased threshold for the suppression of premature ventricular complexes) have been suggested in patients with acute myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure, or both. To better define procainamide kinetics, 37 patients in the acute care setting received intravenous procainamide (25 mg/min, median dose 750 mg) with peak and hourly blood samples taken over 6 hours. Compared with the 10 control patients, the 12 patients with acute myocardial infarction and the 15 patients with congestive heart failure had normal procainamide pharmacokinetics with respect to half-life (2.3 ± 1.0, 2.5 ± 0.9 and 2.6 ± 0.8 hours, respectively), volume of distribution (1.9 ± 0.7, 1.8 ± 0.4 and 1.8 ± 0.5 liters/kig, respectively), clearance (11.3 ± 7.5, 9.3 ± 3.6 and 9.1 ± 3.5 ml/min per kg, respectively) and unbound drug fraction (66 ± 9, 66 ± 9 and 69 ± 4%, respectively). Low thresholds for greater than 85% premature ventricular complex suppression were confirmed in these patients (median 4.7 μg/ml in patients with acute myocardial infarction and 3.3 μg/ml in patients with congestive heart failure). Thus, differences in the response of premature ventricular complexes to procainamide reflect electropharmacologic differences dependent on clinical setting rather than pharmacokinetic abnormalities. Furthermore, the reduction of procainamide dosing in patients with acute myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure, based solely on prior kinetic data, may result in inappropriate antiarrhythmic therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine