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Keywords:

  • antidepressant;
  • antipsychotic;
  • QT interval;
  • torsade de pointes

Objective:  To investigate all published case reports of torsade de pointes (TdP) induced by psychotropic drugs (PDs) in order to examine the prevalence of risk factors for TdP prior to the drug initiation.

Method:  We found 45 reports on 70 patients with TdP induced by PDs. Each report was analyzed for the presence of risk factors for TdP: female gender, heart disease, hypokalemia, high doses of offending agent, concomitant use of a QT interval prolonging agent, and a history of long-QT syndrome.

Results:  Female gender was the most common risk factor for TdP (71.4%). The other studied risk factors were also frequently present (34.2–14.2%). Nearly all patients had at least one and 51 (73%) patients had >2 risk factors for TdP prior to PD initiation.

Conclusion:  We wish to raise the level of awareness of risk factors for TdP in the psychiatric community.