- In the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST), a long-term, multi-centered, randomized, double-blind study in patients with asymptomatic non-life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias who had a myocardial infarction more than six days but less than two years previously, an excessive mortality or non-fatal cardiac arrest rate (7.7%) was seen in patients treated with encainide or flecainide compared with that seen in patients assigned to carefully matched placebo-treated groups (3.0%). The average duration of treatment with encainide or flecainide in this study was ten months.
- The applicability of the CAST results to other populations (e.g., those without recent myocardial infarction) is uncertain. Considering the known proarrhythmic properties of mexiletine and the lack of evidence of improved survival for any antiarrhythmic drug in patients without life-threatening arrhythmias, the use of mexiletine as well as other antiarrhythmic agents should be reserved for patients with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmia.
Acute Liver Injury (Mexiletine Only)
- In post-marketing experience abnormal liver function tests have been reported, some in the first few weeks of therapy with mexiletine hydrochloride. Most of these have been observed in the setting of congestive heart failure or ischemia and their relationship to mexiletine hydrochloride has not been established.
Updated January 2018