Antipsychotic Agents and Sudden Cardiac Death-How Should We Manage the Risk?

New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 02/2009; 360(3):294-6. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe0809417
Source: PubMed
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    • "Researchers at Vanderbilt University published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting a new risk: sudden heart failure. The investigators found three cardiac deaths per year for every 1,000 patients taking anti-psychotic drugs like Seroquel (Schneeweiss and Avorn, 2009). One of the most radical pharmaceutical treatments for PTSD is the street drug Ecstasy, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). "
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    • "There is also the spectre of adverse sequelae of treatment with some antipsychotic medications, including psychotropicrelated metabolic disturbance (including weight gain, hyperlipidaemia and diabetes), leading to potential early death (Buckley et al. 2008). Most recently, findings of an excess of sudden cardiac death associated with antipsychotics has led to caution being advocated about the over-liberal use of such drugs (Schneeweiss & Avorn, 2009). "
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    • "Although the evidence that is available thus far is not consistent, this review gives some support to the hypothesis that long-term exposure to antipsychotics increases mortality in schizophrenia. Some psychiatrists who acknowledge that death can result from taking antipsychotics may nevertheless argue that in patients " for whom the drug is truly indicated, a small risk of rare but fatal side effects may be acceptable until new medications with a safer cardiac risk profile are developed " (Schneeweiss and Avorn, 2009 "

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