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Current use of venlafaxine not associated with excess risk of sudden cardiac death or near death compared with fluoxetine, citalopram or dosulepin

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Is the antidepressant venlafaxine associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death compared with other antidepressants?


The cohort consisted of 207 384 new users of venlafaxine, fluoxetine, citalopram or dosulepin on or after 1 January 1995; 19 268 were new users of venlafaxine. New users were identified from the UK General Practice Research Database (GPRD) and were defined as users who had not been prescribed the medication in question in the year before cohort entry (incident prescription). For inclusion, users had to be aged 18–89 years and have a recorded diagnosis of depression or anxiety. Individuals were excluded if they had a history of life threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmia, cardioversion, aborted cardiac arrest or implantation of a cardiac defibrillator before study entry; advanced cardiomyopathy (hypertrophic or dilated); or congenital conduction disorder before or during the study. In the nested case control analysis, 568 cases were identified and 14 812 matched controls were selected. Up to 30 controls were matched to cases …

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  • Source of funding Wyeth.


  • Competing interests SK has received research funding or honoraria in the past 3 years from AstraZeneca, Biovail, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen-Ortho, Lundbeck, Pfizer, St Jude Medical and Servier.

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