International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 757–765

Frequency of use of QT-interval prolonging drugs in psychiatry in Belgium

  • Eline Vandael
  • Thomas Marynissen
  • Johan Reyntens
  • Isabel Spriet
  • Joris Vandenberghe
  • Rik Willems
  • Veerle Foulon
Research Article

Abstract

Introduction Drug-induced QT-prolongation is an established risk factor for Torsade de pointes and sudden cardiac death. The list of QT-prolonging drugs is extensive and includes many drugs commonly used in psychiatry. Aim In this study we performed a cross-sectional analysis of medication profiles to assess the prevalence of drug interactions potentially leading to QT-prolongation. Setting 6 psychiatric hospitals in Flanders, Belgium. Methods For each patient, the full medication list was screened for the presence of interactions, with special attention to those with an increased risk for QT-prolongation. Current practice on QT monitoring and prevention of drug-induced arrhythmia was assessed. Main outcome measure Number of drug interactions with risk of QT-prolongation. Results 592 patients (46 % female; mean age 55.7 ± 17.1 years) were included in the analysis. 113 QT-prolonging interactions were identified in 43 patients (7.3 %). QT-prolonging interactions occurred most frequently with antidepressants (n = 102) and antipsychotics (n = 100). The precautions and follow-up provided by the different institutions when combining QT-prolonging drugs were very diverse. Conclusion Drug combinations that are associated with QT-prolongation are frequently used in the chronic psychiatric setting. Persistent efforts should be undertaken to provide caregivers with clear guidelines on how to use these drugs in a responsible and safe way.

Keywords

Antidepressants Antipsychotics Belgium Drug-induced QT-prolongation Drug interactions Psychiatry Torsade de pointes 

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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eline Vandael
    • 1
  • Thomas Marynissen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Johan Reyntens
    • 4
  • Isabel Spriet
    • 1
    • 5
  • Joris Vandenberghe
    • 6
    • 7
  • Rik Willems
    • 2
    • 3
  • Veerle Foulon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology and PharmacotherapyKU Leuven – University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Cardiovascular SciencesKU Leuven – University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.CardiologyUniversity Hospitals LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Sint-Jan HospitalEekloBelgium
  5. 5.Pharmacy DepartmentUniversity Hospitals LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  6. 6.Department of NeurosciencesKU Leuven – University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  7. 7.PsychiatryUniversity Hospitals LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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