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Spindelegger, Christoph Josef; Papageorgiou, Konstantinos; Grohmann, Renate; Engel, Rolf; Greil, Waldemar; Konstantinidis, Anastasios; Agelink, Marcus Willy; Bleich, Stefan; Ruether, Eckart; Toto, Sermin; Kasper, Siegfried (2015): Cardiovascular Adverse Reactions During Antidepressant Treatment: A Drug Surveillance Report of German-Speaking Countries Between 1993 and 2010. In: International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 18, No. 4
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Abstract

Background: Antidepressants (ADs) are known to have the potential to cause various cardiovascular adverse drug reactions (ADRs). The tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) were first revealed to be a possible source of cardiovascular ADRs. In recent years, newer classes of ADs were also suggested to have a higher risk of cardiovascular adverse effects. In particular, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were suspected to have the potential to induce QTc interval prolongation, and therefore increase the risk of ventricular arrhythmia. This descriptive study is based on the continuous pharmacovigilance program of German-speaking countries (Austria, Germany, and Switzerland), the Arzneimittelsicherheit in der Psychiatrie (AMSP), which assesses severe ADRs occurring in clinical routine situations. Methods: Of 169 278 psychiatric inpatients treated with ADs between 1993 and 2010, 198 cases of cardiovascular ADRs (0.12%) were analyzed. Results: Our study showed that the incidence rates of cardiovascular ADRs were highest during treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (0.27%),TCAs (0.15%), and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (0.14%); the risk of occurring during treatment with SSRIs (0.08%) was significantly lower. The noradrenergic and specific serotonergic AD mirtazapine (0.07%) had a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular ADRs than all other ADs. Severe hypotension was the most frequent ADR, followed by hypertension, arrhythmia, and in some rare cases heart failure. Conclusions: Despite certain limitations due to the AMSP study design, our observations on cardiovascular ADRs can contribute to a better knowledge of the cardiovascular risk profiles of antidepressants in the clinical routine setting. However, prospective studies are needed to verify our findings.