Sunday, 22 March 2009

Opioids and QTc prolongation

It is known that Methadone can cause QTc prolongation on the ECG which can lead to Torsades de Pointes. This is due to blockade of the curiously named 'human ether-a-go-go related gene' channels (hERG). This study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in Feburary 2009 showed for the first time that oxycodone causes the same effect in a dose related manner. Morphine and tramadol do not have this problem. This has implications for patients on high doses of oxycodone especially when taken chronically

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