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Antipsychotics double the chances of a fatal heart attack

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Two of the world’s most prescribed antipsychotics double the chances of a fatal heart attack.

Seroquel (quetiapine) and Haldol (haloperidol)—which are prescribed to treat schizophrenia and psychosis—causes serious, and sometimes fatal, heart problems in around 10 percent of patients.

It’s been known for more than 30 years that antipsychotics can cause heart problems, and several have been taken off the market because of the dangers—and yet Seroquel and Haldol are still being prescribed, say researchers from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Australia.

If they are to stay on the market, the patient must be monitored regularly, and even have a full heart check, including an ECG scan, before starting treatment, the researchers urge.

They analysed medical records of patients being treated with either drug in Taiwan, and tracked those who went on to suffer heart problems, including arrythmia—or irregular heart rate—and heart attack.

In all, 41 prescription drugs available in the US can cause dangerous heart problems, and five of these are antipsychotics.

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References
Heart Rhythm, 2024; doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2023.10.027
Article Topics: antipsychotics, heart attack
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