Feb 1, 1976

Electrocardiographic changes and cardiac arrhythmias in patients receiving psychotropic drugs

The American Journal of Cardiology
N O FowlerI B Hanenson


Eight patients had cardiac manifestations that were life-threatening in five while taking psychotropic drugs, either phenothiazines or tricyclic antidepressants. Although most patients were receiving several drugs, Mellaril (thioridazine) appeared to be responsible for five cases of ventricular tachycardia, one of which was fatal in a 35 year old woman. Supraventricular tachycardia developed in one patient receiving Thorazine (chlorpromazine). Aventyl (nortriptyline) and Elavil (amitriptyline) each produced left bundle branch block in a 73 year old woman. Electrocardiographic T and U wave abnormalities were present in most patients. The ventricular arrhythmias responded to intravenous administration of lidocaine and to direct current electric shock; ventricular pacing was required in some instances and intravenous administration of propranolol combined with ventricular pacing in one. The tachyarrhythmias generally subsided within 48 hours after administration of the drugs was stopped. Five of the eight patients were 50 years of age or younger; only one clearly had antecedent heart disease. Major cardiac arrhythmias are a potential hazard in patients without heart disease who are receiving customary therapeutic doses of psychotr...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Supraventricular Tachycardia
Cardiovascular System
Tukel Syndrome
Left Bundle-Branch Block
Adrenergic Agonists
Bundle-Branch Block
Nortriptyline Assay
Digitalis Glycosides

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