Electrocardiograms changes in children with functional gastrointestinal disorders on low dose amitriptyline

Chogle, A.; Saps, M.

World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Aug 30; 20(32):11321-5


AIM: To study the effects of low dose amitriptyline on cardiac conduction in children. METHODS: Secondary analysis of data obtained from a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial, evaluating low dose amitriptyline in children with a diagnosis of functional abdominal pain, functional dyspepsia, and irritable bowel syndrome according to the Rome II criteria. Children 8-17 years of age were recruited from the pediatric gastroenterology clinics of 6 tertiary care centers in the United States. The electrocardiograms (EKGs) done prior to initiation of amitrityline and 1 mo after initiation of amitriptyline were examined. The changes in cardiac conduction were evaluated in patients and controls. RESULTS: Thirty children were included in the study. There were 12 patients, ages 9-17 years of both genders, in the amitriptyline treatment group and 18 patients, ages 9-17 years of both genders, in the placebo treatment group. None of the patients had any baseline EKG abnormality. Amitriptyline use was associated with an increase in heart rate (P = 0.024) and QTc interval (P = 0.0107) as compared to pre-EKGs. Children in the placebo group were also noted to present a statistically significant increase in QTc interval (P = 0.0498). None of the patients developed borderline QTc prolongation or long-QT syndrome after they were started on amitriptyline. CONCLUSION: The study findings suggest that once patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders have been screened for prolonged QTc interval on baseline EKG, they probably do not need a second EKG for reevaluation of cardiac conduction after starting low dose amitriptyline.

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