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Current Drug Safety


ISSN (Print): 1574-8863
ISSN (Online): 2212-3911

Mini-Review Article

Drug-Induced QTc Prolongation: What We Know and Where We Are Going

Author(s): Erinn Mangona*, Elisa Sandonato, Todd N. Brothers and Jayne Pawasauskas

Volume 17, Issue 2, 2022

Published on: 17 January, 2022

Page: [100 - 113] Pages: 14

DOI: 10.2174/1574886316666210922153059

Price: $65


Drug-induced QTc prolongation is a concerning electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormality. This cardiac disturbance carries a 10% risk of sudden cardiac death due to the malignant arrhythmia, Torsades de Pointes. The Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (AzCERT) has classified QTc prolonging therapeutic classes, such as antiarrhythmics, antipsychotics, anti-infectives, and others. AzCERT criteria categorize medications into three risk categories: “known,” “possible,” and “conditional risk” of QTc prolongation and Torsades de Pointes. The list of QTc prolonging medications continues to expand as new drug classes are approved and studied. Risk factors for QTc prolongation can be delineated into modifiable or non-modifiable. A validated risk scoring tool may be utilized to predict the likelihood of prolongation in patients receiving AzCERT classified medication. The resultant risk score may be applied to a clinical decision support system, which offers mitigation strategies. Mitigation strategies including discontinuation of possible offending agents with a selection of an alternative agent, assessment of potential drug interactions or dose adjustments through pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic monitoring, and initiation of both ECG and electrolyte monitoring are essential to prevent a drug-induced arrhythmia. The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the development of innovative continuous monitoring technology, increasing protection for both patients and healthcare workers. Early intervention strategies may reduce adverse events and improve clinical outcomes in patients identified to be at risk of QTc prolongation.

Keywords: Torsade de Pointes, QT interval, QT prolongation, risk assessment, drug-induced arrhythmia, technology, monitoring, COVID-19.

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Graphical Abstract
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