INVESTIGATION OF THE CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF ESCITALOPRAM-INDUCED ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHIC CHANGES IN MEN: A PILOT OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
Keywords:Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Anxiety disorders, Electrocardiography, Corrected QT, Heart rate, Tachycardia, Depression
Objective: We sought to investigate the clinical significance of secondary electrocardiographic (ECG) changes in men after using escitalopram.
Methods: This pilot observational cohort study recruited male patients taking escitalopram for at least 6 mo in Mental Hospital of Qassim. All patients underwent a 12-lead ECG examination. We also measured the heart rate (HR), QTc, and QRS interval. Data on all related medical conditions and medications were recorded.
Results: Fifty-three men were recruited, with a mean age of 37.39±8.39 y: 34.4% and 31.1% of these patients were taking escitalopram for depression and anxiety, respectively. The mean dose of escitalopram was 14.35 mg. Observations showed that 20.9% of the patients taking escitalopram had a fast HR (>100 beats/min [bpm]), indicative of sinus tachycardia, whereas 11.4% of patients had a slow HR (<60 bpm). The mean QT and QTc in patients taking escitalopram were 366.62±28.69 and 398.92±16.15 ms, respectively.
Conclusion: Low doses of escitalopram resulted in minimal clinically significant changes. Thus, patients should be monitored when doses are escalated further.
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