We investigated the effects of moricizine HCl, a type Ic anti-arrhythmic agent, on heart rate variability. Decreased heart rate variability is a risk factor for mortality in post-MI and other patient populations, and some antiarrhythmic drugs decrease heart rate variability. Normal volunteers (10 M, 11 F, age 19-39 years) received blinded placebo and moricizine HCl at 200 mg twice daily for 5 days. On day 4, a 24-h ECG was obtained, and time and frequency domain measures of heart rate variability based on normal-to-normal intervals were computed. Moricizine decreased both time and frequency domain measures of heart rate variability. Significant reductions were seen for SDNNIDX (the average S.D. for N-Ns for each 5-min interval in ms) and pNN50 (the proportion of successive N-N differences >50 ms in percent) in the time domain, and very low (0.0033-0.04 Hz), low (0.04-0.15 Hz) and high (0.15-0.4 Hz) frequency power. Similar patterns of change in heart rate variability were seen when data for daytime and nighttime periods were analyzed separately. rMSSD (the root mean square successive difference of N-N intervals in ms), pNN50 and high frequency power are primarily indices of parasympathetic tone. SDNNIDX, and very low and low frequency power reflect both sympathetic and parasympathetic tone and longer term variability. Thus, moricizine decreases both vagal tone and longer term components of heart rate variability. This decrease produced by moricizine is similar to that reported with other type 1 antiarrhythmics.
- Autonomic nervous system
- Vagal tone