Which drugs may cause syncope?

Updated: Jan 13, 2017
  • Author: Rumm Morag, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

A medication history must be obtained in all patients with syncope with special emphasis placed on cardiac and antihypertensive medications. Drugs commonly implicated in syncope include the following:

  • Agents that reduce blood pressure (eg, antihypertensive drugs, diuretics, nitrates)
  • Agents that affect cardiac output (eg, beta blockers, digitalis, antiarrhythmics)
  • Agents that prolong the QT interval (eg, tricyclic antidepressants, phenothiazines, quinidine, amiodarone)
  • Agents that alter sensorium (including alcohol, cocaine, analgesics with sedative properties)
  • Agents that alter serum electrolytes (especially diuretics)

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