UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: bretylium and hypothermia

Keywords: bretylium, hypothermia, ventricular fibrillation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/23/2011 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 1/26/2022)
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Bretylium was touted for many years as the drug of choice for patients with ventricular dysrhythmias in the setting of hypothermia...in fact it still is recommended by some. Bretylium was actually touted to be effective based on animal studies in which the dogs were PRE-treated with bretylium and then hypothermia was induced. It was found that dogs that were pretreated had fewer episodes of ventricular fibrillation than dogs that were not pretreated. On the other hand, if bretylium was used as a treatment for VFib rather than a prophylactic, it was ineffective. The bottom line....don't bother with bretylium.