Antipsychotics linked to higher risk of sudden cardiac death

TAKING psychotropic medication is strongly associated with an increased risk of sudden death as a result of an acute coronary event, researchers warn.

In a study comparing use of medication among victims of sudden cardiac death or survivors of an acute coronary event, researchers found use of antipsychotics (typical or atypical) was four times as common among those who died.

Almost one in 10 individuals (9.7%) with a recorded sudden cardiac death was using antipsychotics compared to 2.4% of survivors, they showed in a study of nearly 3000 elderly patients.

Use of antidepressants was also more common, and use of antidepressants and phenothiazines together was associated with an 18-fold higher risk.

Eur Heart J 2011, online 14 Sept