Abstract 6. (2)11



QTC Interval and Antipsychotic Drug Therapy in Psychiatric Patients Experience From Calabar, Eastern Nigeria


V. Ansa, M. Ekpo 




A prospective study to assess the effect of commonly used phenothiazines in tropical psychiatric practice on QTc interval was carried out. The subjects were thirty-five, (35) vagrant psychotics cleared from the streets of Calabar in South-eastern, Nigeria, and admitted into a large Psychiatric hospital in the city. Assessment of the degree of QTc interval prolongation before and after six months of administering therapeutics doses of phenothiazines was done using 12- lead rest electrocardiogram. Only 29 subjects completed the study. 2/29 (6.8%) of subjects showed QTc interval prolongation enough to predispose to ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death (QTc ≥ 50ms). This finding was however not statistically significant (p>0.05). This study demonstrates that no significant increase in QTc interval may occur in-patients taking therapeutic doses of phenothiazines in our environment. This makes them still safe as regards cardiovascular morbidity. Since most patients in our milieu cannot afford the newer atypical antipsychotics which have little or no cardiovascular side effects, the older and cheaper phenothiazines are still relevant in psychiatric practice in the developing countries.

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