Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

FDA Approved Multaq may help Runners with Heart Rhythm Disorder

    Mass of bodies at Honolulu Marathon

    What happens if you’re a lifelong runner who suddenly develops a heart rhythm disorder?  For me it has been a rollcoaster ride with a variety of treatments and medications.

     It’s difficult to run when your heart is in cardiac arrhythmia, more commonly know as artrial fibrillation. So what are the choices when you’ve tried just about everything else?  Now comes a new drug called “multaq” which has only hit the consumer market a few weeks ago.

heart chart photoI’ve been asked by my doctor to try this new medication and wanted to know if anyone out there knows more than what I’ve found on the internet.

FDA Approves Multaq to Treat Heart Rhythm Disorder

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Multaq tablets (dronedarone) to help maintain normal heart rhythms in patients with a history of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter (heart rhythm disorders). The drug is approved to be used in patients whose hearts have returned to normal rhythm or who will undergo drug or electric-shock treatment to restore a normal heart beat.

Multaq may cause critical adverse reactions, including death, in patients with recent severe heart failure. The drug’s label will contain a boxed warning, the FDA’s strongest warning, cautioning that the drug should=2 0not be used in severe heart failure patients.

“Multaq represents a therapeutic innovation for treatment of the heart rhythm disorder of atrial fibrillation,” said Norman Stockbridge, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.


September 9, 2009 - Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , ,


  1. Wayne, thanks for the shout out last month about The Ultimate Runner.

    More importantly, I wish you the best managing your A-Fib. My wife has been trying different drugs off and on, and just yesterday her doc asked her to try Multaq. Let’s hope both of you and countless others see great results to get your tickers under control.

    Comment by Tom Green | September 9, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks Tom. Yes, I’m hopeful this new drug works. It’s very frustrating going through the many different methods including electric shock and ablation.
      Wishing your wife the best.

      Comment by waynejoseph | September 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. I was recently put on multaq for a-fib and was wondering what effect it has on exercise tolerance

    Comment by John | November 15, 2010 | Reply

    • I think it affects everyone differently. I tried it, but it gave me an adverse reaction and switched back to an old drug called flecainide which works much better for me

      Comment by waynejoseph | November 15, 2010 | Reply

  3. Thanks for your fast response. I was on rythmol for 2 years and my EP said it was ok for running but not when running fast so I asked if there was a better drug for runners and he wanted me to try multaq. I understand flecainide is in the same family as rythmol. Does it allow you to get your heart rate up to level you prefer.

    Comment by John | November 15, 2010 | Reply

    • I tried multaq my heart went out and needed cardio version just a few days after tying multaq.
      I’ve also had two heart ablations. Flecainide seems to agree with me better and I’m able to run without any problems. Are you in flutter or A-Fib? My problem was in Flutter. Had my second ablation on Nov 2 and everything seems to be going well thus far.

      Comment by waynejoseph | November 15, 2010 | Reply

      • Wow Im glad to hear you are doing well. I had one ablation a little over a year ago but I still have bouts of A-Fib. Planning on 2nd ablation first part of next year. I have my first marathon scheduled for Dec. 4 and somehow have made it through training with rythmol. Problem is my Dr. didnt know I was running that much.I have no other issues with my heart and Im 39. I might just stick with rythmol until after marathon. glad to hear you are doing well after 2nd ablation.

        Comment by John | November 15, 2010

  4. Wayne I have 1 more question. Have you ran any marathons while on flecainide, if so , how did it go.

    Comment by John | November 18, 2010 | Reply

    • No, I haven’t been able to run more than 9 miles at one time, but am hoping 2011 will be a better year.

      Comment by waynejoseph | November 18, 2010 | Reply

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