What should I have told the doctor who recently asked me about dronedarone (Multaq)?
“Supposedly, it’s [Multaq] just like Amiodarone, but without the side effects?” he asked.
Gosh…Should I, or shouldn’t I?
I took a big cleansing breath, reminding myself to stay civil, as at least Sanofi-Aventis, the makers of Multaq, sponsor a cycling team. Then I gave him my long answer:
I started with the fact that Multaq barely made it through the approval process. One of the original studies with Multaq (ANDROMEDA), a randomized trial of Multaq in patients with severe heart failure, showed that patients who took the drug were twice as likely to die.
Multaq eventually won approval for use in patients without significant heart failure and mild forms of AF, based on the results of the ATHENA trial—which randomized 4628 patients with non-permanent AF to either standard therapy or standard therapy plus Multaq. The ATHENA investigators didn’t exactly say that Multaq works, rather they claimed that it reduced a composite of hospitalizations and death.
This started the marketing machine in motion, the likes of which I have not ever witnessed. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*