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Mayo Clin Proc ; 95(6): 1213-1221, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450185


As the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) global pandemic rages across the globe, the race to prevent and treat this deadly disease has led to the "off-label" repurposing of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir, which have the potential for unwanted QT-interval prolongation and a risk of drug-induced sudden cardiac death. With the possibility that a considerable proportion of the world's population soon could receive COVID-19 pharmacotherapies with torsadogenic potential for therapy or postexposure prophylaxis, this document serves to help health care professionals mitigate the risk of drug-induced ventricular arrhythmias while minimizing risk of COVID-19 exposure to personnel and conserving the limited supply of personal protective equipment.

Death, Sudden, Cardiac , Hydroxychloroquine , Long QT Syndrome , Lopinavir , Risk Adjustment/methods , Ritonavir , Torsades de Pointes , Anti-Infective Agents/administration & dosage , Anti-Infective Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Death, Sudden, Cardiac/etiology , Death, Sudden, Cardiac/prevention & control , Drug Combinations , Drug Monitoring/methods , Drug Repositioning/ethics , Drug Repositioning/methods , Electrocardiography/methods , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/administration & dosage , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Long QT Syndrome/chemically induced , Long QT Syndrome/mortality , Long QT Syndrome/therapy , Lopinavir/administration & dosage , Lopinavir/adverse effects , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Ritonavir/administration & dosage , Ritonavir/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Torsades de Pointes/chemically induced , Torsades de Pointes/mortality , Torsades de Pointes/therapy
Res Social Adm Pharm ; 17(2): 483-486, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-71886


Background: Combinations of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin have been promoted as treatments for COVID-19 based on small, uncontrolled clinical trials that have not assessed potential risks. Risks of treatment include QT segment prolongation, Torsades de Pointes (TdP), and death. This comparative pharmacovigilance analysis evaluated the risk of these events. Methods: Data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) (>13 million total reports) were used. Queries extracted reports based on exposures of HCQ/chloroquine (CQ) alone, azithromycin alone, HCQ/CQ + azithromycin, amoxicillin alone, HCQ/CQ + amoxicillin alone. Amoxicillin served as a control. Events of interest included death and TdP/QT prolongation as well as accidents/injuries and depression as control events. Proportional Reporting Ratios (PRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated where a lower limit of the of 95% CI (Lower95CI) value of ≥2.0 is interpreted as a potential safety signal. Results: Lower95CIs for HCQ/CQ alone showed no potential safety signals for TdP/QT prolongation, death, or any of the control events included. The PRRs and 95% CIs for TdP/QT prolongation was 1.43 (1.29-2.59) with HCQ/CQ use alone and 4.10 (3.80-4.42) for azithromycin alone. For the combined HCQ/CQ + azithromycin group, the PRR and 95% CI was 3.77 (1.80-7.87). For the control of amoxicillin, there were no safety signals when used alone or in combination with HCQ/CQ. Conclusions: HCQ/CQ use was not associated with a safety signal in this analysis of FAERS data. However, azithromycin used alone was associated with TdP/QT prolongation events and should be used with caution.

Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Long QT Syndrome/chemically induced , Torsades de Pointes/chemically induced , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Azithromycin/adverse effects , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/adverse effects , Drug Interactions , Drug Therapy, Combination , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Long QT Syndrome/mortality , Pharmacovigilance , Torsades de Pointes/mortality , United States/epidemiology