Side Effects of Celexa Linked to Serious Heart Problems at High Doses: FDA

High doses of the antidepressant Celexa can cause abnormal heart rhythms, leading federal regulators to issue a new warning that Celexa should no longer be prescribed at doses exceeding 40 mg per day.

According to a drug safety communication released by the FDA on Wednesday, side effects of Celexa can cause QT intervals to be prolonged, disrupting the heart’s regular electrical activity. This can lead to a serious and potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythm, including torsade de pointes.

Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) belongs to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It was originally created in 1989 by Lundbeck and is approved for the treatment of major depression. However, it is often used off-label to treat other psychological disorders. Celexa is available as a brand or a generic 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg tablets, as well as a 10 mg / 5 ml oral solution.

Patients with low potassium and magnesium are at increased risk of serious heart problems from Celexa, the FDA has warned. The agency also noted that data suggests that doses above 40 mg per day provide no increased benefit to patients.

Celexa’s warnings will now include information about potential heart rhythm risks, as well as new dosage recommendations. The FDA has not provided any information on reports of serious illness or death associated with Celexa’s heart problems.

Patients were advised to speak to their healthcare provider if they have been prescribed a daily dose of Celexa exceeding 40 mg. They were also warned to seek immediate medical attention if they experience an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting while taking Celexa.

Doctors have been warned not to prescribe Celexa above 40 mg per day and not to use it at all in patients with congenital long QT syndrome. The agency also called on doctors to give patients taking Celexa more frequent EKG monitoring.

Keywords: Antidepressants, Celexa

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