Another sudden death in a child treated with desipramine

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1993 Jul;32(4):792-7. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199307000-00013.


The sudden death of three children receiving the tricyclic antidepressant medication desipramine for behavioral disorders was reported in 1990. We now provide new information about these children and describe a fourth case. Because desipramine is a useful medication for many children, these deaths pose clinical dilemmas for physicians and families. The cardiac long QT syndrome has been proposed as a mechanism for these sudden deaths. Considerable uncertainty remains about the basis of the apparent association between the use of desipramine and the sudden deaths.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors