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Brand names: Cordichin®
German: Chinidin

1 Definition

Quinidine is an active substance which belongs to the group of anitarrythmic drugs and is administered in the treatment of various cardiac arrythmias.

2 Chemistry

Quinidinde has following metabolic formula: C20H24N2O2 and a molar mass of 324,42 g/mol.

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3 Indication

Quinidine is used in the treatment of irregular or too rapid heartbeats. The following clinical pictures belong to this category:

4 Mechanism of action

The substance is classified as a Ia antiarrythmic agent because of its blocking of sodium channels in the myocardial cells. The reduced inward flow of sodium leads to a decreased excitability of the myocard. Also the sodium channels remain refractory for a longer period of time, prolonging the time before they can be reactivated. Quinidines effect of inhibiting the outward flow of potassium additionally causes an elongation of the action potentials. These above mentioned mechanisms lower the excitability, making the heart beat slower and more regularly. Quinidine is taken up very rapidly by the body and already shows signs of action within 15 minutes of intake.

5 Undesired side effects

The intake of quinidine very often has negative effects for the gastrointestinal tract and can present as vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. An overdose gives rise to a quinidine intoxication and primarily effects the central nervous system. The symptoms effecting the central nervous system are summarized as cinchonsims and span from visual impairment, nystagmus and damage to the optic nerve to tinnitus, hearing impairment, vertigo, headaches and disorientation.

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