Utilisation of medications to reduce symptoms in children with POTS
Article published in Cardiology in the Young by Jeffrey Boris, Thomas Bernadzikowski
Background: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome encompasses multiple disabling symptoms that interfere with daily activities. Non-pharmacologic approaches can be insufficient and can require adjunctive medications to manage symptoms. Minimal data exist in the literature on medication outcomes in these patients. We reviewed our database for medication management outcomes.
Materials and Methods: Patients aged 18 years and younger at initial diagnosis met the inclusion criteria. All prescribed patient medications were extracted from the electronic health record, excluding medications for unrelated symptoms or comorbid diseases. Medications were grouped by symptom class consistent with our programme utilisation protocol. Within symptom classification, therapy was deemed successful when a specific dose was prescribed at least five consecutive times without changes; this was confirmed by chart review. Individual medications and overall percentage of successful therapies within symptom classifications were assessed, with further analysis by gender. t-Test, χ2, and Mann–Whitney U-test were used to assess for differences in specific variables, as appropriate.
Results: A total of 708 patients met the study criteria. The percentage of patients with effective therapy by symptom includes light-headedness (52.2%), headache (48.2%), nausea (39.1%), dysmotility (43.4%), pain (53.4%), and insomnia (42.8%). Insomnia therapy was better for females; all other therapies showed no gender difference. The median number of therapies prescribed per patient per symptom was 2 for light-headedness, headache, and insomnia, and 1 for nausea, dysmotility, and pain.
Discussion: Symptoms associated with this disorder can be effectively managed with various medications. Further randomised studies are needed to better ascertain true efficacy compared with placebo.