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March 20, 1987

Adverse Reactions to Antiarrhythmic Drugs

Author Affiliations

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Rome

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Rome

JAMA. 1987;257(11):1474. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390110050021

To the Editor.—  The article by Nygaard et al1 contributes to the knowledge of limits and usefulness of antiarrhythmic drugs. However, we think that further insight into the problem might be derived from a more careful analysis of some cardinal points:

  1. Adverse effects and age: Age does not influence the incidence of major side effects when patients are grouped according to the cutoff point of 65 years. Such a conclusion is in agreement with several reports2,3 regarding other kinds of drugs used in patients 65 to 75 years old. However, a larger incidence of major side effects in patients older than 70 to 75 years cannot be excluded in the absence of a comparison among at least three classes of patients (eg, those aged ≤ 40 years, 41 to 70 years, and > 70 years). This is especially important as regards neurological side effects, whose occurrence is