When Should QT Prolongation Be Considered in Antiemetic Use?

  • Efrat Rosenzweig KeanEmail author
  • Matthew Hinton
  • Clare Roepke


Antiemetic medications are commonly prescribed in the acute care setting. Most carry a warning for QTc interval prolongation, which may devolve into potentially fatal arrhythmias. Ondansetron, the most commonly prescribed antiemetic, increases the QTc interval by 6–20 ms, which is not sufficient to cause cardiac arrhythmias in most patients. The risk of significant QTc prolongation after receiving an antiemetic drug is significantly associated with preexisting QTc prolongation, electrolyte abnormalities, and organ failure. Patients who are known to have underlying risk factors should have a screening electrocardiogram performed prior to medication administration. Other patients can safely receive a single dose of an antiemetic without any preceding tests.


Antiemetics QTc prolongation Arrhythmia 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Efrat Rosenzweig Kean
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthew Hinton
    • 2
  • Clare Roepke
    • 3
  1. 1.Temple University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacyTemple University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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