Objective: Using national Danish registers, we estimated rates of clozapine-associated cardiac adverse events. Rates of undiagnosed myocarditis were estimated by exploring causes of death after clozapine initiation.
Method: Through nationwide health registers, we identified all out-patients initiating antipsychotic treatment (January 1, 1996-January 1, 2015). Rates of clozapine-associated myocarditis and pericarditis within 2 months from clozapine initiation and rates of cardiomyopathy within 1-2 years from clozapine initiation were compared to rates for other antipsychotics. Mortality within 2 months from clozapine initiation was extracted.
Results: Three thousand two hundred and sixty-two patients of a total 7932 patients initiated clozapine as out-patients (41.12%). One patient (0.03%) developed myocarditis, and no patients developed pericarditis within 2 months from clozapine initiation. Two (0.06%) and four patients (0.12%) developed cardiomyopathy within 1 and 2 years respectively. Rates were similar for other antipsychotics. Twenty-six patients died within 2 months from clozapine initiation. Pneumonia (23.08%) and stroke (11.54%) were the main causes of death. We estimated the maximum rate of clozapine-associated fatal myocarditis to 0.28%.
Conclusion: Cardiac adverse effects in Danish out-patients initiating clozapine treatment are extremely rare and these rates appear to be comparable to those observed for other antipsychotic drugs.
Keywords: Danish nationwide registers; antipsychotics; cardiomyopathy; clozapine; mortality; myocarditis; pericarditis.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.