Cardiol J. 2023 Mar 13. doi: 10.5603/CJ.a2023.0018. Online ahead of print.
Flecainide, similar to encainide and propafenone, is IC class antiarrhythmic, inhibiting Nav1.5 sodium channels in heart muscle cells and modulates cardiac conduction. Despite its over 40-year presence in clinical practice, strong evidence and well-known safety profile, flecainide distribution in Europe has not always been equal. In Poland, the drug has been available in pharmacies only since October this year, and previously it had to be imported on request. Flecainide can be used successfully in both the acute and chronic treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. The main indication for flecainide is the treatment of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias, including atrial fibrillation, atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia, atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia and ventricular arrhythmias in patients without structural heart disease. Beyond that, it may be used in some supraventricular tachycardia in children and for sustained fetal tachycardia. Many studies indicate its efficacy comparable to or better than previously used drugs such as propafenone and amiodarone, depending on the indication. This review aims to highlight the most important clinical uses of flecainide in the light of the latest scientific evidence and to provide an overview of the practical aspects of treatment, including indications, off-label use, contraindications, areas of use, monitoring of treatment and most common complications, taking into account special populations: children and pregnant women.