Common meds link to sudden cardiac arrest in type 2 diabetes

Key Takeaways

  • A study shows use of some antibiotic and antipsychotic drugs increases the risk of sudden cardiac arrest among people with type 2 diabetes who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease.
  • Doctors should be aware of the possible consequences of prescribing these drugs to patients with type 2 diabetes.

Use of some antibiotic and antipsychotic drugs increases the risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) among people with type 2 diabetes who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), shows the first such analysis of real-world, primary care data. People with type 2 diabetes who do not have a history of CVD have almost three times the risk of SCA if they take antipsychotic medications and nearly double the risk if they take certain antibiotics that prolong the QT interval (a measurement on an electrocardiogram used to assess some electrical properties of the heart), notably macrolides and fluoroquinolones. Another drug associated with an increase in SCA among patients with diabetes was domperidone, an antinausea medication. “These data show that commonly prescribed drugs ― antipsychotic medications, used by about 3% of people with type 2 diabetes, and antibiotics, taken by 5% to 10%, convey an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest in those without a history of cardiovascular disease,” said Peter Harms, MSc, who presented the study at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 2023 Annual Meeting. “Perhaps these drugs could be avoided in some cases, and GPs should be more aware of the possible consequences of their use,” he added. “If the patient has type 2 diabetes, then maybe it’s better to avoid some of these medications and try and cope without them, or at least find an alternative antibiotic.”

Source: Becky McCall, Medscape Medical News, October 23, 2024; see source article