A number of conventional and newer antiarrhythmic agents are available for the treatment and prophylaxis of ventricular tachycardia and sudden death. Using a multifaceted approach of programmed electrical stimulation studies, drug level determinations, exercise tolerance testing, and 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring, the physician can identify those patients who require therapy and then predict the likelihood of efficacy with each antiarrhythmic agent. This approach affords evaluation of both aspects of the sudden death equation-ectopy frequency (triggering mechanism) and vulnerability to development of sustained ventricular tachycardia (substrate). After institution of therapy, careful follow-up is necessary to document sustained drug efficacy and detect side effects. Serious adverse reactions necessitate a change in antiarrhythmic therapy, as opposed to lowering drug dosage to an ineffective level. The unacceptably high incidence of sudden death due to electrical instability can be reversed only by a rigorous and dedicated long-term approach to the management of serious ventricular arrhythmias.