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Molecular and clinical determinants of drug-induced long QT syndrome: an iatrogenic channelopathy.
Swiss Medical Weekly
Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Review --- Old month value: Nov 27
More than 70 drugs present on the Swiss market can cause drug-induced long QT syndrome (LQTS), which is associated with torsades de pointes (TdP) arrhythmias, potentially leading to sudden cardiac death. Basic and clinical investigations performed during the last decade have helped a better understanding of the mechanisms and risk factors of this serious public health problem. In their vast majority, QT interval prolonging drugs block the human ERG (hERG) channel involved in the repolarisation phase of the cardiac action potential, and thus lengthen the QT interval. Beside the well-known QT interval prolonging action of class IA, IC and III anti-arrhythmic drugs, many antibiotics, neurotropic, antifungal, and antimalarial drugs are also able to cause drug-induced LQTS. Reviewing the literature indicates that the risk of QT interval prolongation and TdP is increased in females, in patients with organic heart diseases and hypokalaemia. Furthermore in a few cases, genetic factors have also been reported. However thus far, no genetic test is available to detect at-risk patients, and in consequence, drug prescribers are still relying only on the clinical history and findings to perform an evaluation of the risk. Treatment of drug-induced LQTS and TdP includes identifying and withdrawing the culprit drug(s), infusing magnesium and, in resistant cases acceleration of the heart rate. In this review article we provide a list of QT interval prolonging drugs adapted to the pharmaceuticals found on the Swiss market that can be used as a check-list for drug prescribers and at-risk patients.
Anti-Arrhythmia Agents, Death, Sudden, Cardiac, Female, Humans, Iatrogenic Disease, Long QT Syndrome, Male, Pharmacogenetics, Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated, Safety, Torsades de Pointes
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