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Drug-related cardiac pathology
  1. J Butany1,2,
  2. E Ahn1,
  3. A Luk3
  1. 1
    Department of Pathology, Toronto General Hospital/University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2
    Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3
    Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor J Butany, Department of Pathology, 11th floor, Toronto General Hospital, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada; Jagdish.butany{at}


Many commonly used drugs, with each causing changes that may be potentially lethal, can adversely affect the function of the heart. In addition some drugs have synergistic effects that can also damage cardiovascular tissues. The drug-related cardiotoxic effects of antineoplastic agents, psychotropic medications, heavy metals, substances of abuse, promotility agents, antihistamines, antimicrobials and antiarrhythmic agents are discussed. Hypersensitivity myocarditis is also discussed.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.