Ibutilide Fumarate

Ibutilide Fumarate

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Side Effects & Adverse Reactions


Like other antiarrhythmic agents, ibutilide fumarate injection can induce or worsen ventricular arrhythmias in some patients. This may have potentially fatal consequences. Torsades de pointes, a polymorphic ventricular tachycardia that develops in the setting of a prolonged QT interval, may occur because of the effect ibutilide fumarate has on cardiac repolarization, but ibutilide fumarate can also cause polymorphic VT in the absence of excessive prolongation of the QT interval. In general, with drugs that prolong the QT interval, the risk of torsades de pointes is thought to increase progressively as the QT interval is prolonged and may be worsened with bradycardia, a varying heart rate, and hypokalemia. In clinical trials conducted in patients with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter, those with QTc intervals >440 msec were not usually allowed to participate, and serum potassium had to be above 4 mEq/L. Although change in QTc was dose dependent for ibutilide, there was no clear relationship between risk of serious proarrhythmia and dose in clinical studies, possibly due to the small number of events. In clinical trials of intravenous ibutilide, patients with a history of congestive heart failure (CHF) or low left ventricular ejection fraction appeared to have a higher incidence of sustained polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT), than those without such underlying conditions; for sustained polymorphic VT the rate was 5.4% in patients with a history of CHF and 0.8% without it. There was also a suggestion that women had a higher risk of proarrhythmia, but the sex difference was not observed in all studies and was most prominent for nonsustained ventricular tachycardia. The incidence of sustained ventricular arrhythmias was similar in male (1.8%) and female (1.5%) patients, possibly due to the small number of events. Ibutilide fumarate is not recommended in patients who have previously demonstrated polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (eg, torsades de pointes).

During registration trials, 1.7% of patients with atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation treated with ibutilide fumarate developed sustained polymorphic ventricular tachycardia requiring cardioversion. In these clinical trials, many initial episodes of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia occurred after the infusion of ibutilide fumarate was stopped but generally not more than 40 minutes after the start of the first infusion. There were, however, instances of recurrent polymorphic VT that occurred about 3 hours after the initial infusion. In two cases, the VT degenerated into ventricular fibrillation, requiring immediate defibrillation. Other cases were managed with cardiac pacing and magnesium sulfate infusions. Nonsustained polymorphic ventricular tachycardia occurred in 2.7% of patients and nonsustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardias occurred in 4.9% of the patients (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Proarrhythmic events must be anticipated. Skilled personnel and proper equipment, including cardiac monitoring equipment, intracardiac pacing facilities, a cardioverter/defibrillator, and medication for treatment of sustained ventricular tachycardia, including polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, must be available during and after administration of ibutilide fumarate. Before treatment with ibutilide fumarate, hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia should be corrected to reduce the potential for proarrhythmia. Patients should be observed with continuous ECG monitoring for at least 4 hours following infusion or until QTc has returned to baseline. Longer monitoring is required if any arrhythmic activity is noted. Management of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia includes discontinuation of ibutilide, correction of electrolyte abnormalities, especially potassium and magnesium, and overdrive cardiac pacing, electrical cardioversion, or defibrillation. Pharmacologic therapies include magnesium sulfate infusions. Treatment with antiarrhythmics should generally be avoided.

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Ibutilide fumarate injection is indicated for the rapid conversion of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter of recent onset to sinus rhythm. Patients with atrial arrhythmias of longer duration are less likely to respond to ibutilide fumarate. The effectiveness of ibutilide has not been determined in patients with arrhythmias of more than 90 days in duration.



Patients with chronic atrial fibrillation have a strong tendency to revert after conversion to sinus rhythm (see CLINICAL STUDIES) and treatments to maintain sinus rhythm carry risks. Patients to be treated with ibutilide fumarate, therefore, should be carefully selected such that the expected benefits of maintaining sinus rhythm outweigh the immediate risks of ibutilide fumarate, and the risks of maintenance therapy, and are likely to offer an advantage compared with alternative management.


There is currently no drug history available for this drug.

Other Information

Ibutilide fumarate injection is an antiarrhythmic drug with predominantly class III (cardiac action potential prolongation) properties according to the Vaughan Williams Classification. Each milliliter of ibutilide fumarate injection contains 0.1 mg of ibutilide fumarate (equivalent to 0.087 mg ibutilide free base), 0.189 mg sodium acetate trihydrate, 8.90 mg sodium chloride, hydrochloric acid to adjust pH to approximately 4.6, and water for injection.

Ibutilide fumarate injection is an isotonic, clear, colorless, sterile aqueous solution. Ibutilide fumarate has one chiral center, and exists as a racemate of the (+) and (–) enantiomers.

The chemical name for ibutilide fumarate is Methanesulfonamide, N-{4-{4- (ethylheptylamino)-1-hydroxybutyl}phenyl}, (+) (–), (E)-2-butenedioate (1:0.5) (hemifumarate salt). Its molecular formula is C22H38N2O5S, and its molecular weight is 442.62.

Ibutilide fumarate is a white to off-white powder with an aqueous solubility of over 100 mg/mL at pH 7 or lower.

The structural formula is represented below:


Ibutilide Fumarate Manufacturers

  • Generamedix Inc.
    Ibutilide Fumarate Injection, Solution [Generamedix Inc.]
  • Paddock Laboratories, Inc.
    Ibutilide Fumarate Injection, Solution [Paddock Laboratories, Inc.]
  • Mylan Institutional Llc
    Ibutilide Fumarate Injection, Solution [Mylan Institutional Llc]

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