While facing potentially high morbidity from COVID-19 without known effective therapies, the off-label use of several non-specific drugs has been advocated, including re-purposed anti-virals (e.g. remdesivir or the lopinavir/ritonavir combination), biologic agents (e.g. tocilizumab), and antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, in association with or without azithromycin. Data regarding the effectiveness of these drugs in treating COVID-19 has been shown in some trials and clinical settings, but further randomised controlled trials are still being carried out. One of the main concerns regarding their widespread use however, are their possible effects on the QT interval and their arrhythmogenic potential. Some of this drugs have been in fact associated to QT prolongation and Torsades de Point, a potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmia. Aim of this review is to highlight the magnitude of this problem, to quickly refresh clinically impacting cornerstones of QT interval and TdP pathophysiology, to summarize the available evidence regarding the QT and arrhythmia impact of drugs used in different clinical settings in COVID-19 patients, and to help the physician dealing with the knowledge needed in the everyday clinical duties in case of doubts regarding QT-induced arrhythmias in this time of emergency.
Gasperetti A, Schiavone M, Tondo C, Mitacchione G, Viecca M, Galli M, Sarzi-Puttini P, Forleo GB. QT Interval Monitoring and Drugs Management During COVID-19 Pandemic. Curr Clin Pharmacol 2020 Dec 24. doi: 10.2174/1574884715666201224155042.