The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
In Brief: Cardiac Risks of Antipsychotic Drugs
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A recently published retrospective cohort study in patients 30-74 years old has led to headlines in the media warning that use of atypical antipsychotic drugs doubles patients’ risk of sudden cardiac death. Typical antipsychotics have long been associated with this risk. In this study, however, the incidence of sudden cardiac death was similar with typical and atypical antipsychotics: about 1 in 340 person-years among the patients who took typical (first generation) antipsychotics such as haloperidol (Haldol, and others) and 1 in 360 personyears among those who took atypical (second-generation) drugs such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), compared to 1 in 700 patient-years among otherwise similar nonusers of antipsychotic drugs. The risk increased with the dose of the drug and also with the age of the patient; the authors state that they did not include patients younger than 30 because sudden cardiac death is very rare in the younger ... more      

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Title: In Brief: Cardiac Risks of Antipsychotic Drugs
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