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Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances) and Class III Drugs

Read more about Class III Drugs.


Class III drugs are generally reserved for life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias and those that have been resistant to other treatments.

Common names include:

  • Bretylium
  • Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  • Sotalol (Betapace)
  • Ibutilide (Corvert)
  • Dofetilide (Tikosyn)

Effect of Class III Drugs on Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)

Like many other drugs used to treat arrhythmias, class III drugs help by slowing the electrical activity in the heart. While their overall effect may be similar to other drugs, these drugs work differently than drugs in classes I, II and IV.

Side Effects and Warnings

Possible side effects of class III drugs for arrhythmias include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Unwanted heart rhythm changes
  • Liver problems (sotalol, amiodarone)
  • Lung damage (sotalol, amiodarone)
  • Eye damage (amiodarone)
  • Nerve damage (sotalol)
  • Muscle damage (sotalol)
  • Thyroid changes (sotalol, amiodarone)