Drug-induced QT interval prolongation: mechanisms and clinical management

Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2012 Oct;3(5):241-53. doi: 10.1177/2042098612454283.


The prolonged QT interval is both widely seen and associated with the potentially deadly rhythm, Torsades de Pointes (TdP). While it can occur spontaneously in the congenital form, there is a wide array of drugs that have been implicated in the prolongation of the QT interval. Some of these drugs have either been restricted or withdrawn from the market due to the increased incidence of fatal polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. The list of drugs that cause QT prolongation continues to grow, and an updated list of specific drugs that prolong the QT interval can be found at www.qtdrugs.org. This review focuses on the mechanism of drug-induced QT prolongation, risk factors for TdP, culprit drugs, prevention and monitoring of prolonged drug-induced QT prolongation and treatment strategies.

Keywords: QT interval; Torsades de Pointes; drugs.

Publication types

  • Review