Erythromycin induced torsades de pointes

Nebr Med J. 1995 Sep;80(9):285-6.


Erythromycin is a widely used antibiotic in today's armamentarium of antibiotics. Although erythromycin induced ventricular tachyarrhythmia is rare, this potentially life-threatening reaction should be kept in mind. The relative rarity of 'torsades de pointes' arrhythmia suggests that other predisposing factors contribute to the acquired long QT syndrome. Since more and more macrolide products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States, the potential problem with 'torsades de pointes' may exist with each of the macrolide antibiotic. Until the exact mechanisms of the arrhythmia are worked out, close monitoring of rhythms and QT intervals of high risk patients who require erythromycin is certainly advisable. Only a heightened awareness among the physicians and medical personnel can the adverse outcome be minimized.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Erythromycin / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Torsades de Pointes / chemically induced*
  • Torsades de Pointes / physiopathology


  • Erythromycin