24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Coronavirus Deaths in Nursing Homes Climbing AgainGet Dizzy When Standing Up? It Could Be Risk Factor for DementiaLevels of Anxiety, Addiction, Suicidal Thoughts Are Soaring in the PandemicWhat Was More Deadly for New Yorkers – COVID-19 or the 1918 Flu?Sweden's No-Lockdown Policy Didn't Achieve 'Herd Immunity'U.S. Coronavirus Death Tally Hits New High for SummerPfizer's COVID Vaccine Shows 'Robust' Results in Early TrialFrequent COVID Tests Key to College Reopening: ExpertsMany Community Outbreaks of COVID Traced to Restaurants, BarsPut the Brakes on Driving After a ConcussionStrict, Costly Measures Needed to Reopen Schools: StudyCOVID-19 Risk Up to 7 Times Higher for Young VapersAnother COVID Hazard: False InformationHospitals Full, Doctors Treated Her Severe COVID-19 at HomeFDA Approves First Oral Drug for Spinal Muscular AtrophyCOVID-19 Fears Stop Americans From Seeking Help for Heart EmergenciesAHA News: What Do Heart Patients Need to Know About COVID-19 Now?Have Diabetes? Don't Lose Sight of Danger to Your EyesBlood Test Might Spot Most Dangerous COVID-19 CasesAs Schools Reopen, Report Shows 97,000 U.S. Kids Infected With COVID in Late JulyWhat Parents Need to Know About Teens and ConcussionsBaby's Meningitis Case Highlights Growing Danger of Antibiotic ResistanceAs in Adults, Minority Kids Hit Hardest by COVID-19Simple Test Shows Which Face Masks Are BestBeware of Hand Sanitizers Containing MethanolWhat Athletes Should Know About COVID-19, Heart Damage and Working OutCOVID-19 Causing More Stress in America Than Other Nations: SurveyWill Your Kid Play School Sports This Fall? Here's Some Guidance on Doing It SafelyScientists Call for Broader Use of Faster COVID TestsTwo Common Nutrients Might Keep Vertigo at BayPeople Are Dying, Going Blind After Drinking Hand Sanitizer, CDC WarnsMore Social Media Use, More Fake COVID NewsSkip the 'Maskne,' Not the MaskObesity Ups Odds for Severe COVID-19, But Age MattersSeven States Join Pact to Speed Coronavirus TestingStudy Casts Doubt on Value of Cholesterol DrugsCOVID-19 Fears Had Sick, Injured Americans Avoiding ERsCancer Diagnoses Plunge as Americans Avoid Screening During PandemicMysterious Paralyzing Illness in Kids Is Set to Return, CDC WarnsMany Older Americans Staying Strong in the PandemicCoronavirus Cases Now Climbing in the MidwestCould the First Drug That Slows Arthritis Be Here?Schools Can Reopen Safely If Precautions in Place, Australian Study ShowsFace Masks, Yes, But Don't Forget Hand-Washing TooEven With PPE, Risk of COVID-19 Still High for Frontline WorkersCoronavirus Pandemic Becoming Far More Widespread, Birx SaysGuard Against Lyme Disease This SummerKids 'Efficient' Transmitters as COVID-19 Raced Through a Georgia Summer CampCollege Students Will Need COVID Tests Every 2-3 Days for Campus Safety: StudyAHA News: Sustained High Blood Pressure May Damage Brain Vessels
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Antiviral Drugs Tied to Heart Issue in COVID-19 Patients

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jul 10th 2020

new article illustration

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Older, critically ill COVID-19 patients who are given a combination of two common antiretroviral drugs can experience a drastic slowing of their heart rate, French researchers report.

In their study of 41 patients treated with lopinavir and ritonavir twice daily for 10 days, 22% developed a slow heart rate condition called bradycardia. When the drugs were stopped or doses lowered, the patients' heart rates returned to normal, according to the team from Amiens University Hospital, in France.

"There are extensive investigations underway to find therapies that are effective at treating patients infected with COVID-19," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who had no part in the study.

The lopinavir-ritonavir combo had been considered a promising treatment for COVID-19 based on very small reports, randomized clinical trials and off-label use, Fonarow said.

But earlier studies have suggested that this combination may also lead to heart block, a problem with electrical signals in the heart. "Determining how these drugs lead to the bradycardia will require further study," Fonarow said.

Doctors prescribing these drugs should be aware of the potential for bradycardia and carefully monitor patients, he added.

"Moreover, preliminary clinical trial results suggest this therapy is not effective in COVID-19, so use in this setting will likely be very limited going forward," Fonarow said.

Lopinavir and ritonavir have also been used to treat other viruses, including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and HIV. The researchers noted that bradycardia has also been seen among HIV patients treated with the drugs.

Normally, adults' hearts beat between 60 and 100 times a minute. In bradycardia, the rate falls below 60 beats per minute, causing decreased blood flow that can lead to fainting, chest pain, low blood pressure and heart failure.

Patients in the French study who developed the problem were older than ones who did not, averaging 62 to 80 years of age, the researchers reported.

Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City who reviewed the findings, noted that the two-drug combo had not helped hospitalized COVID-19 patients in other recent trials.

Siegel said the treatment should not be used with COVID-19 because it's not effective in either critically ill patients or in the early stages of the disease.

"The remaining hope for this combination of drugs was early in the disease, but the significant amount of bradycardia in these critically ill patients raises the question that this combo is not well tolerated in many patients," he said.

Going forward, Siegel said, the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir appears to be effective and is already being used to fight COVID-19.

The new study, by Dr. Christophe Beyls and colleagues, was published online July 9 in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

More information

To learn more about COVID-19, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.