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Note how the drug can affect the rhythm of the heart, the report says

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According to a new report, many commonly used medications can cause or exacerbate irregular heartbeats known as arrhythmias, and healthcare professionals need to be aware of the risks. ..

A scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published in its magazine Circulation on Tuesday, investigated the effects of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including those being studied for use with COVID-19.


In a news release, James E. Tisdale, chair of the statement’s writing committee, said, “There are many uncertainties about the underlying mechanism of arrhythmias associated with a particular drug therapy, and risk factors and treatment options. Further research is needed to gain a deeper understanding. “

“We hope that raising awareness will allow clinicians to pay attention to risk factors and avoid drug therapies that can cause or exacerbate arrhythmias in high-risk patients. I am a part-time professor at Padhu University Pharmacy and Indiana University School of Medicine.



Arrhythmias can be caused by genetics, heart disease, high blood pressure, electrolyte imbalances or other factors. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.


People with a history of heart attack, heart disease, or previous heart surgery are more likely to develop an irregular heartbeat after exposure to certain drugs. Other risk factors for drug-induced arrhythmias include old age, potassium or magnesium deficiency, and excessive alcohol use.


“Many of the commonly used drugs can cause arrhythmias as a side effect,” says Tisdale. “Although the risk is relatively low, it is important for healthcare professionals to consider that drug-induced or exacerbated patient arrhythmias.”

Drugs can cause several types of arrhythmias. Most people have no symptoms, but some people have a heartbeat or flutter. They can be dizzy, fainting, or have difficulty breathing.

If the arrhythmia is left untreated, the heart cannot pump enough blood to the body and can damage the heart, brain, or other organs. Some arrhythmias are life-threatening and require immediate treatment.

According to the authoring group, drugs that can disrupt the rhythm of the heart include chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin, which are used to manage COVID-19. In June and July, the Food and Drug Administration canceled emergency use and issued a warning against clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 or the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine outside the hospital.


Other drugs proposed for the management of COVID-19, such as lopinavir / ritonavir, may also interfere with the normal rhythm of the heart, according to the report.

Tisdale warned that patients should not change their medications themselves. “The drug is very important and is beneficial in treating a variety of illnesses and chronic health conditions. Patients should not change or discontinue the drug without consulting a healthcare professional. “

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The American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke, and related health issues. Not all views expressed in the American Heart Association News article reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.

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Healthcare Disclaimer: This site and its services do not constitute medical advice, diagnostic or therapeutic practices. Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific healthcare needs. If you have or suspect a medical problem or symptom, contact a qualified healthcare professional immediately. If you are in the United States and are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or seek emergency medical assistance immediately.

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