FAQs about the QTDrugs List
To view frequently asked questions oriented toward health care professionals and researchers, click here.
For definitions of terms used here and throughout our site, visit our glossary.
How should I interpret the "Known Risk of torsades de pointes" category of drugs in the QTdrugs List?
This category includes drugs that are generally accepted by the www.QTdrugs.org Advisory Board of AZCERT to have a risk of causing the potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmia, torsades de pointes (TdP) in some people. You should not stop taking one of the medicines on the QTdrugs List without first checking with your physician. Keep in mind that the risk of developing TdP is different for each drug and people have different levels of sensitivity to the effects of these drugs on their heart.
If you are taking any of these drugs, you should be aware of the possibility that TdP may occur and remain in close communication with your physician. If you seek healthcare from several different doctors or professionals other than the one who prescribed for you a specific drug on this list, we suggest you let him/her know all other the drugs, hormones or dietary supplements you are taking, because medicines can interact in ways that are dangerous and increase your risk of TdP.
How should I interpret the "Possible Risk of torsades de pointes" category of drugs?
This category includes drugs that prolong the QT interval on the electrocardiogram but at this time they lack substantial evidence that they can cause TdP. CredibleMeds monitors the available evidence on these drugs regularly to assess their risk. Most experts and often the FDA label discourages the use of two or more drugs that can prolong the QT because of the risk that their combination may Increase the risk of TdP.
If you are taking any of these drugs, your doctor may want to monitor your heart (obtain electrocardiograms more often) for evidence of excessive QT prolongation. If you seek healthcare from several different doctors or professionals other than the one who prescribed a specific drug on this list for you, we suggest you let him/her know all other the drugs, hormones or dietary supplements you are taking.
Are drugs in the "Conditional risk for torsades de pointes" category safe?
This category includes those drugs that carry a risk of TdP and/or excessive QT prolongation under certain conditions, such as when patient has congenital long QT syndrome, they take a drug overdose or when there is co-administration of potentially harmful interacting drugs. Also, some of the drugs in this category create conditions that facilitate TdP such as low serum potassium caused by diuretics. In the absence of these conditions, there is a lack of substantial evidence that these drugs can cause TdP.
You should remember that this statement applies to recommended dosages. If you are taking any of these drugs, you should use them carefully and follow every instruction from your health care provider. If you seek healthcare from several different doctors or professionals other than the one who prescribed you a specific drug on this list, we suggest you let him/her know all other the drugs, hormones or dietary supplements you are taking, because drug interactions can affect this risk.
Which drugs should be avoided by someone with Congenital Long QT Syndrome (CLQTS)?
Our CLQTS list of Drugs to Avoid includes drugs that should be avoided in patients with diagnosed or suspected congenital long QT syndrome. However, this does not mean that if a product is not on that list, it is automatically safe. We always recommend that patients with congenital Long QT Syndrome take medications only under the supervision of their physician who knows their medications, their complete history and their current medical condition including congenital long QT syndrome. To be safe, this list includes all of the drugs that are known to cause TdP, those that prolong QT and those that have a conditional risk of TdP. In addition, the list includes certain drugs that are heart stimulants because of the risk that their adrenaline-like properties could be a danger for some patients with CLQTS.
Is there an increased risk of developing QT prolongation and torsades de pointes due to interactions between prescription/Over the counter drugs or supplements and foods?
Given the vast number of products available, it is impossible to predict all possible interactions. It's important that you keep an updated record of all the medications, over the counter products and dietary or vitamin supplements that you take. Many drugs that require prescription in some countries may not in others. We recommend that before taking over the counter products or supplements, you should always review all of your medications with your primary healthcare provider. We also recommend that you do the same with your pharmacist and ask them to use their computer program to check for interacting medicines, vitamins, hormones, etc.
Are men and women at different risk for QT prolongation and torsade de pointes?
According to the research evidence available, medical scientists have found that women have greater sensitivity to many QT prolonging drugs and have a higher frequency of torsades de pointes than men. For more specific information, see the Educational Monograph on Women and Medicines.
How often is the QTdrugs List updated?
We constantly review the scientific literature, FDA announcements and analyze case reports. We check for new evidence in the FDA's database of adverse drug reports as soon as updates are released for analysis, but we may publish an update at any time if there is evidence to support a change in a list. The list is usually updated every 60-90 days.
How can I be informed about updates and how can I get them?
Click here to sign up to receive email notices when the lists have been updated. All registered visitors to the CredibleMeds website receive email notice when the lists are changed.
Are the lists available in a printable format?
We welcome anyone to use the information on our website in any non-commercial way they find useful. However, the QTdrugs List changes frequently and therefore we discourage printing and distributing the List. Nevertheless, some find it useful and the list can be printed as a PFD. The list is dated and include a statement encouraging the user to check the website for the most current information. Please click here to access a printable version of our Composite QTdrug lists.
To ensure that you have the most up-to-date information we suggest that you click here. Although the QTDrug List is free to anyone who registers on our website, we do not advise others to publish it separately from CredibleMeds because it can rapidly become outdated. Circulation of out-of-date lists could be potentially very dangerous for some patients. We welcome all interested parties to use or link to the lists on our website. We have an Automated Program Interface (API) available for health IT systems to access our lists automatically. Contact us for info on how to access the API.