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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
Can J Cardiol ; 36(6): 948-951, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-77139


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to efforts at rapid investigation and application of drugs which may improve prognosis but for which safety and efficacy are not yet established. This document attempts to provide reasonable guidance for the use of antimicrobials which have uncertain benefit but may increase risk of QT interval prolongation and ventricular proarrhythmia, notably, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and lopinavir/ritonavir. During the pandemic, efforts to reduce spread and minimize effects on health care resources mandate minimization of unnecessary medical procedures and testing. We recommend that the risk of drug proarrhythmia be minimized by 1) discontinuing unnecessary medications that may also increase the QT interval, 2) identifying outpatients who are likely to be at low risk and do not need further testing (no history of prolonged QT interval, unexplained syncope, or family history of premature sudden cardiac death, no medications that may prolong the QT interval, and/or a previous known normal corrected QT interval [QTc]), and 3) performing baseline testing in hospitalized patients or those who may be at higher risk. If baseline electrocardiographic testing reveals a moderately prolonged QTc, optimization of medications and electrolytes may permit therapy. If the QTc is markedly prolonged, drugs that further prolong it should be avoided, or expert consultation may permit administration with mitigating precautions. These recommendations are made while there are no known effective treatments for COVID-19 and should be revisited when further data on efficacy and safety become available.

Arrhythmias, Cardiac , Azithromycin/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Long QT Syndrome , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Risk Management/methods , Ritonavir/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/chemically induced , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/diagnosis , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Canada , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Long QT Syndrome/chemically induced , Long QT Syndrome/diagnosis , Long QT Syndrome/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2