Is it safe to use visible blue light-emitting diode phototherapy for neonatal jaundice in infants who are also treated with amiodarone?


Amiodarone is a useful treatment for neonatal cardiac arrhythmias. A minority of neonates with arrhythmias treated with amiodarone may also develop neonatal jaundice. Phototherapy is recommended to treat neonatal jaundice. However, amiodarone is known to cause skin reactions when patients are exposed to light. Therefore phototherapy may not be administered due to concerns about this interaction. Exchange transfusions are used as an alternative to phototherapy to avoid the interaction. However, exchange transfusions are associated with serious complications such as the transmission of bloodborne disease, seizures and haemodynamic instability. We report a literature review and outcome of a premature infant treated with amiodarone and visible blue light-emitting diode (LED) phototherapy. Phototherapy was used for 54 hours and no skin reactions were observed. This is because visible blue LED phototherapy lamps emit predominantly visible light. Therefore exposure to ultraviolet light that is known to cause amiodarone phototoxicity is minimised.

  • clinical pharmacy
  • neonatology
  • side effects of drugs
  • cardiology
  • evidence based medicine

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