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Release Date: April 19, 2016
Expiration Date: April 30, 2019
Several of the most commonly used medications have the potential to cause QTc interval prolongation, increasing the risk of torsade de pointes. The propensity of a medication to cause QTc interval prolongation is a common reason for drug withdrawal from the U.S. market. Agents ranging from antiarrhythmics to antifungals share some common features that elevate risk. Advanced practice nurses play an important role in managing care for patients being treated with these drugs in a variety of settings. Managing care can include the selection of agents, monitoring of care plans for safety and efficacy, reviewing medications before dispensing, or the administration of these medications. Specific knowledge of the general information and caveats associated with QTc interval prolonging medications in general is necessary. Furthermore, the ability to compare and contrast these agents is vital for optimal patient management and to reduce the risk of negative outcomes.
This course is designed for advanced practice nurses who provide care to patients currently prescribed medications that prolong the QTc interval. The purpose of this course is to increase clinicians’ knowledge of the area and of these medications so that they can identify the optimal therapy and safely utilize the medications.
The information in this course was current at the time of publication. Pharmacotherapy is rapidly changing, new pharmaceutical agents are continually being developed and approved, and older agents are being investigated in new ways; therefore, the clinician should stay abreast of new medications and ongoing research findings and their implications in the delivery of patient care.
- Identify the aspects of the cardiac cycle encompassed by the QT interval, how the QTc interval is derived, and ion channels involved.
- Identify torsade de pointes, describe its relationship with QTc interval prolongation, and delineate factors that can increase the risk of QTc interval prolongation and/or torsade de pointes.
- Compare and contrast classes or subclasses of medications that elevate the risk of QTc interval prolongation and torsade de pointes.
- Describe key patient counseling and monitoring that can ensure optimal patient outcomes.
- Identify the most common therapeutic modalities that can treat torsade de pointes and explain how magnesium and transvenous pacing should be administered.
C. Michael White, PharmD, FCP, FCCP, is professor and chair of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmacy Practice in Storrs and co-director of the Health Outcomes, Policy, and Evidence Synthesis research group at the University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, which houses one of only 13 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality designated Evidence-based Practice Centers. Dr. White received his BS Pharm and PharmD degrees from the Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, New York, and completed a cardiovascular clinical pharmacology fellowship at Hartford Hospital. Dr. White has published more than 150 peer reviewed articles, including publications in JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Circulation, and Lancet. His research has been selected for the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists Drug Therapy Research Award and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Lyman Award. He is an American College of Clinical Pharmacy Young Investigator of the Year recipient and fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacologists and American College of Clinical Pharmacists. He is a contributing editor to the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, is on the editorial board for Pharmacy Practice News, and hosts a once weekly program called “Ask the Pharmacist” on a Hartford television station.
- Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
- You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
- Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
- All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.