Use of Anti-Depressants Prolonged QT Interval
The use of antidepressants was found to produce a modest prolongation of QT interval, according to the results of a cross-sectional study of adult patients.
According to background information in the article, the FDA has issued a warning that the use of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram(Drug information on citalopram) was associated with prolonged QT interval when prescribed at higher doses, and has subsequently restricted the dose of the drug to 20 mg for certain subgroups of patients.
The study, published in BMJ, included almost 40,000 adults with electrocardiograms after prescription of an antidepressant or methadone. Three antidepressants were found to have a statistically significant effect on QT prolongation: citalopram (P<.01), escitalopram(Drug information on escitalopram) (P<.001), and amitriptyline(Drug information on amitriptyline) (P<.01).
“The question of whether patients for whom antidepressants will be prescribed should routinely have electrocardiograms before and/or after treatment starts cannot be addressed directly by this study,” the researchers wrote in their conclusion.
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