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Another sudden death in a child treated with desipramine.

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  • 1Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.


The sudden death of three children receiving the tricyclic antidepressant medication desipramine for behavioral disorders was reported in 1990. We now provide new information about these children and describe a fourth case. Because desipramine is a useful medication for many children, these deaths pose clinical dilemmas for physicians and families. The cardiac long QT syndrome has been proposed as a mechanism for these sudden deaths. Considerable uncertainty remains about the basis of the apparent association between the use of desipramine and the sudden deaths.

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