Anti-depressant Class Abbreviations: 


AZCERT: Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics. Originally one of 14 federally designated Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) distributed across the nation, AZCERT focuses on programs to reduce preventable harm from medications. 

Cardiac arrhythmias: Any deviation from the normal heart rhythm. Some are more serious than others and may have very different treatment strategies.

Congenital Long QT Syndrome: "Congenital" refers to a characteristic you are born with or inherit. Some people are born with an abnormally long QT interval on their electrocardiogram. Different genetic causes have been identified, but all are included under the term "Congenital Long QT Syndrome" or CLQTS.

Drug-induced QT prolongation: Over 132 currently marketed medicines have been associated with a prolongation of the QT interval, i.e. the period of time while the heart contracts and recharges for its next heart beat. Lengthening of the interval beyond the normal value of 440ms for men and 450ms for women is known to increase the risk for serious cardiac arrhythmias and death.

ECG: Stands for electrocardiogram. It is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that records the heart's electrical activity from wires applied to the surface of the skin. Also referred to as EKG.

EKG: From the German word Elektrokardiogramm; it's another abbreviation for ECG.

FDA: U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Federal regulatory agency for
pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and veterinary products and medical devices.

QT: Refers to the QT interval, a period of time that corresponds to the waves in the ECG that represent the contraction and relaxation of the large chambers of heart muscle. The QT interval is measured in milliseconds (ms). See the image below.

QTc: Because the QT interval is influenced by heart rate, it is often "corrected" or normalized to a standard heart rate of 60 bpm. QTc is the QT interval corrected for differences in the specific heart rate at the time of measurement. In order to have a more accurate estimate of QT duration, several correction formulas have been proposed. The Bazett Formula is most often used but has limitations in that it doesn’t correct accurately at high or low heart rates.


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Sudden cardiac death: Some cardiac arrhythmias cause the heart to suddenly lose the ability to pump blood to the body. The loss of blood flow causes severe cell damage. The possibility of dying is very high if the underlying cardiac arrhythmia is not immediately treated.

Torsades de pointes (Pronounced: tor-SAHD duh PWAHN): A potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disturbance that occurs in the setting of prolongation of the QT interval and which causes the heart to stop pumping blood. Patients with a prolonged QT interval, whether drug-associated or congenital are at increased risk of torsades de pointes.