The institute revised its original plan to reject dronedarone following a campaign by patients, healthcare professionals and MPs.
NHS use of the drug is restricted to patients whose atrial fibrillation cannot be controlled by first-line therapy (usually β-blockers), and who have at least one of the following risk factors:
• hypertension requiring treatment with at least two different drug classes
• previous systemic embolism, stroke or TIA
• left atrial diameter greater than 50mm
• left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 40%
• aged 70 years or older without NYHA class III or IV heart failure
People already receiving dronedarone who do not meet the above criteria should be able to continue treatment until they and their doctor decide it is appropriate to stop, says NICE.