Torsade de pointes linked to sotalol use in women

Women are three times more likely than men to experience serious adverse reactions from sotalol, a drug commonly used to correct arrhythmias, report researchers from Sinai Hospital in Detroit. In a study of 799 women, torsade de pointes (TDP), a dangerous irregular heart rhythm, occurred in 4.1% of women on sotalol compared to 1.9% of 2,336 men on the drug. TDP may be reduced by reducing dosage of sotalol in women, and by closely monitoring female patients who are given the drug. It is possible that women’s cardiac repolarization is intrinsically slower and more prone to delays, say researchers, requiring extra precautions when using drugs such as sotalol that prolong the QT interval of the heart rhythm.