Cardioverter-Defibrillator Implantation Medication

Updated: Jul 09, 2018
  • Author: Tarek Ajam, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Richard A Lange, MD, MBA  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.


Local Anesthetics, Amides

Class Summary

Local anesthetics block the initiation and conduction of nerve impulses.Anesthetics used for the permanent pacemaker insertion include bupivacaine and lidocaine.

Bupivacaine (Marcaine)

Decreases permeability to sodium ions in neuronal membranes. This results in the inhibition of depolarization, blocking the transmission of nerve impulses.

Lidocaine (Xylocaine)

Lidocaine is an amide local anesthetic used in 1%-2% concentration. The 1% preparation contains 10 mg of lidocaine for each 1 mL of solution; the 2% preparation contains 20 mg of lidocaine for each 1 mL of solution. Lidocaine inhibits depolarization of type C sensory neurons by blocking sodium channels.

To improve local anesthetic injection, cool the skin with ethyl chloride before injection. Use smaller-gauge needles (eg, 27 gauge or 30 gauge). Make sure the solution is at body temperature. Infiltrate very slowly to minimize the pain. The time from administration to onset of action is 2-5 minutes, and the effect lasts for 1.5-2 hours.


Antibiotics, Other

Class Summary

Insertion of Generator

Prophylactic antibiotics are used for insertion of generator and postoperatively. Any of several antibiotics can be used; the choice is generally dictated by the facility’s infection control policy. The author typically uses either cephalexin or, in patients with penicillin and cephalosporin allergy, bacitracin or vancomycin, and clindamycin.

Cephalexin (Keflex)

Cephalexin is a first-generation cephalosporin that arrests bacterial growth by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis. It has bactericidal activity against rapidly growing organisms. Cephalexin's primary activity is against skin flora; the drug is used for skin infections or prophylaxis in minor procedures.

Bacitracin (Baciim, Baciquent)

Bacitracin prevents transfer of mucopeptides into the growing cell wall, which causes inhibition of bacterial cell wall synthesis.

Clindamycin (Cleocin)

Clindamycin is a lincosamide that is useful in treating serious skin and soft tissue infections caused by most staphylococcal strains. It is also effective against aerobic and anaerobic streptococci, except enterococci.

Clindamycin inhibits bacterial protein synthesis by inhibiting peptide chain initiation at the bacterial ribosome, where it preferentially binds to the 50S ribosomal subunit, inhibiting bacterial growth.

Vancomycin (Vancocin)

Vancomycin is an antibiotic directed against gram-positive organisms and active against Enterococcus species. It is useful in the treatment of septicemia and skin-structure infections. Vancomycin is indicated for patients who cannot take or whose conditions fail to respond to penicillins and cephalosporins or those with infections with resistant staphylococci.