Switzerland. On 15 January the Swiss regulatory agency, Swissmedic, issued a warning message regarding the risk of QT prolongation, including Torsade de pointes, after high-dose methadone substitution therapy for heroin addicts or used as an analgesic. The Swissmedic has 25 reports covering a total of 42 adverse reactions including suspected heart-rate disturbances associated with methadone, constituting 15.4% of all reports received on the drug. Reference is made to several published studies on this topic. The message lists a number of risk factors that need to be considered when methadone is prescribed. Further information about this advice may be requested from the Swissmedic information office at: email@example.com
1. Electronic mail received from the WHO Collaborating Centre, Sweden, via Vigimed, 16 January 2003.
2. Communication from Swissmedic, 21 January 2003.