Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(7):1018-1022. doi:10.7150/ijms.34141

Research Paper

Torsades de pointes and QT prolongation Associations with Antibiotics: A Pharmacovigilance Study of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System

Chengwen Teng1,2, Elizabeth A. Walter3,4,5, Daryl Kevin S. Gaspar1,2, Obiageri O. Obodozie-Ofoegbu1,2, Christopher R. Frei1,2,3,4,5✉

1. Pharmacotherapy Division, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, San Antonio, TX, USA
2. Pharmacotherapy Education and Research Center, Long School of Medicine, University of Texas Health-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA
3. Division of Infectious Diseases, Long School of Medicine, University of Texas Health-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA
4. South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio, TX, USA
5. University Health System, San Antonio, TX, USA

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Citation:
Teng C, Walter EA, Gaspar DKS, Obodozie-Ofoegbu OO, Frei CR. Torsades de pointes and QT prolongation Associations with Antibiotics: A Pharmacovigilance Study of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(7):1018-1022. doi:10.7150/ijms.34141. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v16p1018.htm

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Abstract

Introduction: Macrolides, linezolid, imipenem-cilastatin, fluoroquinolones, penicillin combinations, and ceftriaxone are known to be associated with Torsades de pointes/QT prolongation (TdP/QTP). Other antibiotics may also lead to TdP/QTP, but no study has systemically compared TdP/QTP associations for many available antibiotics.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between TdP/QTP and many available antibiotics using the FDA Adverse Event Report System (FAERS).

Methods: FAERS reports from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017 were analyzed. The Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA) was used to identify TdP/QTP cases. We calculated the Reporting Odds Ratios (RORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) for the association between antibiotics and TdP/QTP. An association was considered to be statistically significant when the lower limit of the 95%CI was greater than 1.0.

Results: A total of 2,042,801 reports (including 3,960 TdP/QTP reports) were considered, after inclusion criteria were applied. Macrolides had the greatest proportion of TdP/QTP reports. Of the 4,092 reports associated with macrolides, 108 reports (2.6%) were associated with TdP/QTP. Significant TdP/QTP RORs (95%CI) for the antibiotics were (in descending order): macrolides 14.32 (11.80-17.38), linezolid 12.41 (8.52-18.08), amikacin 11.80 (5.57-24.97), imipenem-cilastatin 6.61 (3.13-13.94), fluoroquinolones 5.68 (4.78-6.76), penicillin combinations 3.42 (2.35-4.96), and ceftriaxone 2.55 (1.41-4.62).

Conclusion: This study confirms prior evidence for TdP/QTP associations with macrolides, linezolid, imipenem-cilastatin, fluoroquinolones, penicillin combinations, and ceftriaxone. This study also identifies a new association between amikacin and TdP/QTP.

Keywords: Torsades de pointes, QT prolongation, adverse drug events, antibiotics, antimicrobial stewardship