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April 7, 2004

Cardiovascular Effects of Ephedra

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(13):1560. doi:10.1001/jama.291.13.1560-a

To the Editor: Dr McBride and colleagues1 found that a dietary supplement containing ephedra significantly prolonged the QT interval. The authors reported, though, that none of the participants who received ephedra was found to have a corrected QT (QTc) interval greater than 500 milliseconds, a point beyond which drug-induced torsade de pointes frequently occurs.2 This is not surprising given the small number of participants in their study and the absence of structural heart disease among them.

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