Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine exert strong and transient depressant effects on the sinoatrial and atrioventricular (AV) nodes of the human heart. The AV nodal effects of these drugs explain their high efficacy in either terminating AV re‐entrant supraventricular tachycardia or in slowing ventricular rate during atrial tachyarrhythmias. Their very short half‐life enables repeated administration of increased doses without reaching toxic effects and explains the transient character of their frequent but benign side effects. These agents represent a good alternative to verapamil in the acute management of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia both in infants and adults.
- adenosine triphosphate
- paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia