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QT prolongation of the antipsychotic risperidone is predominantly related to its 9-hydroxy metabolite paliperidone


T. Someya; Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 1–757 Asahimachi-dori, Chuo-ku, Niigata 951–8510, Japan. Tel: +81-25-227-2209; Fax: +81-25-227-0777. E-mail:



A dose-dependent increase in risk of sudden cardiac death for the antipsychotic drug risperidone was reported. However, few reports have so far addressed QT prolongation associated with the use of risperidone or its major active metabolite, which is also used as a separate antipsychotic drug, paliperidone.


The present study evaluated associations between risperidone metabolism and QT interval in 61 psychiatric patients who had been receiving risperidone for ≥4 weeks at an average dosage of 4.7 mg/day. Plasma risperidone and paliperidone levels were measured and electrocardiographic measurements were also obtained.


There was no correlation between risperidone dosage and QTc or plasma risperidone levels and QTc. However, there was a significant positive correlation between plasma paliperidone levels and QTc (r = 0.361; p = 0.004). There was no correlation between age and dose-corrected plasma risperidone levels or between age and QTc. There was a significant positive correlation between age and dose-corrected plasma paliperidone levels (r = 0.290; p = 0.023).


Clinically, paliperidone is considered to play a more important role in QT prolongation than risperidone. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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