Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequently encountered chronic arrhythmia associated with significant morbidity. It is generally encountered in the elderly, and will presumably become more prevalent in the future due to the increasing proportion of the elderly in the population. Major studies on AF have demonstrated no significant difference between rhythm and rate control in terms of mortality. However, young population with new-onset or lone AF, or patients in whom the maintenance of sinus rhythm is a must (due to recurrent thromboembolic events etc.) still gives rise to significant concerns related to the obligatory long-term prophylaxis. The long-term administration of the currently available conventional agents (amiodarone, dofetilide, sotalol, propafenone,flecainide etc.) is considered as a 'double edged sword' due to the presence of life-threatening adverse effects including pro-arrhythmia and organ toxicity associated with these agents. Several molecules are being developed for the management of AF. However, only a few novel agents confer promising results with respect to safety and efficacy issues in the major studies.