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Avatar universal

  My father (age 59) was diagnosed with A.fib in may/1998.
  It was quite by chance:  he has been asymptomatic. To his benefit he had been taking an aspirin a day for a long time, and 2 aspirins a day for about the last year (this he had been doing on his own....until now he has rarely, if ever seen a physician...)
  He was started on digoxin and coumadin, and in late May he
  underwent cardioversion:  it was not successful, though his doctor said that he converted to a sinus rhythm for about a minute  before going back into fib.
  He was placed on cordarone, orally.  Digoxin was d/c'd. He also remains on coumadin. He has rescheduled a second cardioversion, I believe for later this month...
  Could you please explain how the cordarone might work to enable him
  to cardiovert,  and  if the cardioversion is not successful,  are there any further alternatives to get him back to a normal rhythm.
  ( my father is 59, overweight : though on his own low fat diet he has since
  lost 20lbs and significantly lowered his cholesterol....he continues to make good progress with his diet!!)
  thank you very much!!!!
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Avatar universal

Dear Lisa,
Hats off to your father for his efforts at weight loss and in taking an aspirin
a day on his own which surely decreased his risk for stroke in the time that he
was in a.fibrillation.  Cordarone(amiodarone) is an antiarrhythmic drug that usually is
not used until the initial cardioversion fails but this really depends on the individual and
the type and duration of rhythm.  Many persons require an antiarrhythmic drug to keep them in
normal sinus rhythm one they get there.  Since there is great benefit to being in sinus rhythm
as opposed to a.fib,  the cardiologist usually makes great efforts to get the
patient into normal rhythm.  Now in answer to your question, the antiarrhythmic drugs of which there
are many were designed to kind of stabalize the membranes of the heart muscle cells
in such a way as to promote normal rhythm, and if the drug doesn't convert the patient on its own then
usually you would like a loading dose worth of drug administration before attempting cardioversion on the drug.  
If it comes to this, it is likely that the transient response to the cardioversion the first time will be transformed
to a more permanent response (normal rhythm always) with the cordarone(antiarrhthmic) on board (in his blood). Good Luck.
Information provided in the heart forum is intended for general informational purposes only, actual diagnosis and
treatment can only be made by your physician(s).  

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