Drug-induced cardiovascular diseases

Drugs. 1977 Jul;14(1):29-40. doi: 10.2165/00003495-197714010-00002.


A wide variety of drugs may be associated with serious cardiovascular toxicity. Toxicity due to drugs primarily used for treating cardiovascular toxicity. Toxicity due to drugs primarily used for treating cardiac disorders is the most extensively documented, especially the arrhythmias due to digitalis glycosides. Various arrhythmias are also caused by toxic levels of many antiarrhythmic agents including quinidine, procainamide and phenytotin. Myocardial depression and heart failure are serious side-effects of beta-adrenoceptor blocking agents and myocardial ischaemia due to sympathominetic amines may result from both direct and indirect mechanisms. The many toxic reactions in the cardiovascular system due to non-cardiac drugs are less widely known and for the most part less clearly understood. Many remain controversial at the current time; for example, the diathesis toward thromboembolism in women taking oral contraceptives. Potential cardiac toxicity due to drugs used in the rapidly expanding sphere of anti-neoplastic chemotherapy is exemplified by the cardiomyopathy-like toxicities of doxorubicin and daunorubicin. Many of the psychotherapeutic drugs including phenothiazine antipsychotics and tricyclic antidepressants have arrhythmogenic potential.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Clofibrate / adverse effects
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Digitalis Glycosides / adverse effects
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Estrogens / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Lithium / adverse effects
  • Methysergide / adverse effects
  • Narcotic Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Narcotics / adverse effects
  • Phenothiazines
  • Phenytoin / adverse effects
  • Procainamide / adverse effects
  • Propranolol / adverse effects
  • Quinidine / adverse effects
  • Sympathomimetics / adverse effects


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Digitalis Glycosides
  • Estrogens
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Narcotics
  • Phenothiazines
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Phenytoin
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Lithium
  • Propranolol
  • Clofibrate
  • Quinidine
  • Procainamide
  • Methysergide