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Clarithromycin induced torsade de pointes



Clarithromycin is a commonly used macrolide antibiotic. It is known to cause QT prolongation. Medication induced QT prolongation is a major risk factor for the development of torsade de pointes.


A 79-year-old lady presented with frequent episodes of torsade de pointes following commencement of clarithromycin. This was noted to be in association with a prolongation of the QT interval.


Knowledge of medications which prolong the QT interval is important to minimize the risk of ventricular arrhythmias, which may lead to sudden death. This is essential in patients with a congenitally long QT interval.

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Correspondence to C. Hensey.

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Hensey, C., Keane, D. Clarithromycin induced torsade de pointes. Ir J Med Sci 177, 67–68 (2008).

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  • Acquired
  • Clarithromycin
  • Medication
  • Prolongation
  • QT interval
  • Torsade de pointes