Treatment News : Heart Rhythm Risks Among Methadone Users With HIV

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Treatment News » August 2013

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


August 26, 2013

Heart Rhythm Risks Among Methadone Users With HIV

People with HIV who are on methadone maintenance therapy to treat opioid dependence have an elevated risk of hearth rhythm abnormalities that can prove fatal, aidsmap reports. When compared with the general population, HIV-positive people have a greater rate of what is called a prolongation of the QTc interval, which is an indicator of hearth rhythm regularity. A prolongation of QTc can precede a condition known as Torsades de Pointes; it can also lead to death as a consequence of serious hearth rhythm abnormalities.

Publishing their findings in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, investigators in Barcelona, Spain, studied 91 HIV-positive participants taking methadone, none of whom had underlying heart abnormalities or were currently using drugs. The researchers tested QTc intervals with an ECG exam 24 hours after administering methadone to the participants.

Thirty-six percent of the participants had a prolonged QTc interval, defined as higher than 450 milliseconds (ms), and 3 percent had an interval above 500 ms, indicating a significant arrhythmia risk.

Factors linked to longer QTc interval included not being on antiretrovirals, having cirrhosis of the liver as a consequence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection, and taking higher doses of methadone. Medication use had a slim relation to risk, and the researchers stated that any drugs taken by methadone users should be evaluated for interactions.  

“Because there are safer, effective alternatives to methadone for both maintenance programs and pain relief, should methadone be withdrawn from the market?” Jay W. Mason, MD, of the University of Utah School of Medicine wrote in an accompanying editorial.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.

Search: HIV, methadone, hearth rhythm abnormality, Torsades de Pointes, aidsmap, opiod dependance, QTc interval, Clinical Infectious Diseases, arrhythmia, hepatitis C virus, hep C, HCV, coinfection, cirrhosis.

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (1 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.