Take Control: Early Use of AADs for Rhythm Control in Atrial Fibrillation

Jointly provided by


Support for this activity has been provided through an educational grant from Sanofi US.

Release date: 10/4/2021

Expiration date: 10/4/2022

Estimated time to complete: 1.0 hour


Although guidelines for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) include the goals of preventing thromboembolism and providing rhythm control and rate control, rhythm control strategies remain largely underutilized. Most physicians choose rate control for initial AF management—only considering rhythm control measures when adequate symptom control is not achieved. Additionally, increasing interest in electrophysiological approaches to rhythm control—despite ongoing debate over its role in first-line therapy and the ready availability of antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) with demonstrated safety and effectiveness—likely accounts for AAD underuse. Emerging data from clinical trials and real-world studies highlights the importance of adopting early rhythm control strategies—including the use of AADs in rhythm control—in minimizing structural changes and improving long-term outcomes for patients with AF.

In this Virtual Practice, learners will guide the management of two AF patients and also have the opportunity to play two rounds of Escape the Exam Room!, an exercise that—for sharp-eyed, fast-thinking players—presents useful, evidence-based clinical information in a unique and challenging way.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of cardiologists, primary care physicians, pharmacists, and other health care providers (HCPs) involved in the care of AF patients.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  • Describe the benefits of an early rhythm control strategy for patients with AF
  • Identify the role of AADs in achieving rhythm control in the management of AF
  • Evaluate recent clinical trial findings regarding safety and efficacy of AADs
  • Apply clinical trial findings regarding AADs to real-world practice settings in the management of patients with AF


Gerald V. Naccarelli, MD, FACC, FAHA, FHRS—Program Chair
Bernard Trabin Chair of Cardiology
Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Cardiology
Associate Clinical Director, Heart and Vascular Institute
Penn State University College of Medicine
Hershey, Pennsylvania

Jonathan P. Piccini, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA, FHRS
Associate Professor of Medicine
Duke University Medical Center
Duke Clinical Research Institute
Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology
Duke Heart Center
Durham, North Carolina

James A. Reiffel, MD
Professor Emeritus of Medicine
Special Lecturer
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Attending Physician Emeritus
Presbyterian Hospital
New York, New York

    Accreditation and Credit Designation

    This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Penn State College of Medicine and RedMedEd. Penn State College of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    Penn State College of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


    In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence, all CME providers are required to disclose to the activity audience the relevant financial relationships of everyone in a position to control content of an educational activity. A relevant financial relationship is a relationship in any amount occurring in the last 24 months with an ineligible company whose products or services are discussed in the CME activity content over which the individual has control. Disclosures are as follows:

    Gerald V. Naccarelli, MD, FACC, FAHA, FHRS, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
    Consultant/Advisor: Acesion Pharma; GlaxoSmithKline; Janssen, Milestone; Omeicos; Sanofi

    Jonathan P. Piccini, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA, FHRS, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
    Clinical Research: Abbott; Bayer; Boston Scientific; Philips
    Consultant/Advisor: Abbott; AbbVie; Ablacon; Altathera; ARCA Biopharma; Biotronik; Boston Scientific; Bristol Myers Squibb; ElectroPhysiology Frontiers; Itamar; LavaNova; Metronic; Milestone; Pfizer; Philips; ResMed; Sanofi; Up-to-Date

    James A. Reiffel, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
    Consultant/Advisor: Acesion Pharma; Amerin; Correvio; Janssen; J&J; Medtronic; Sanofi
    Research Grant: Janssen; J&J; Medtronic; Sanofi
    Speakers Bureau: Sanofi

    Penn State College of Medicine
    Faculty and staff involved in the development and review of this activity have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

    Staff involved in the development and review of this activity have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

    Unapproved Product Use

    This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the US Food and Drug Administration. RedMedEd, Penn State College of Medicine, and Sanofi US do not recommend the use of any agent outside the labeled indications.


    The information presented in this activity is for continuing medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician regarding diagnosis and treatment of a specific patient’s medical condition.

    The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of RedMedEd, Penn State College of Medicine, or Sanofi US. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

    Method of Participation

    There are no fees to participate in the activity. Participants must review all activity information, including the learning objectives, disclosure statements, and content. To receive CME credit for participation, participants must complete the posttest and program evaluation. Certificates can be printed immediately.

    Contact Information

    For questions regarding CME credit, contact Penn State Continuing Education at 717.531.6483 or ContinuingEd@hmc.psu.edu. Please reference activity code G6748-22-T.

    For technical questions related to this activity, please contact RedMedEd at 610.251.6841 or education@redmeded.com.

    Hardware/Software Requirements

    • Apple iPad, iPad Mini (iOS 11 or higher), iPhones (iOS 11 or higher), and Android phones (4.0.3 or higher) with an Internet connection
      • Internet browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
    • A computer with an Internet connection
      • Internet browsers (PC): Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer 11 or higher.
      • Internet browsers (Mac): Chrome, Firefox, and Safari 13 or higher


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    © 2021. This CME-certified program is held as copyrighted by Penn State College of Medicine and RedMedEd. Through this notice, Penn State College of Medicine and RedMedEd grant permission of its use for educational purposes only. These materials may not be used, in whole or in part, for any commercial purposes without prior permission in writing from the copyright owners.