Posted by Deborah Pujoue on September 2, 2011
WARNING ABOUT CELEXA! Did that get your attention? Good. This is something you have to hear now. In yet another stunning revelation about the potential dangers of antidepressants, the FDA announced Aug. 24 that Celexa has the potential to cause a fatal abnormal heart rhythm. The case is so severe that the regulators are advising doctors to stop prescribing it.
It turns out that high doses of the controversial antidepressant Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide), and by high dose, I mean any doses that amount to more than 40 milligrams a day can “cause changes in the electrical activity of the heart, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, including a potentially deadly arrhythmia known as Torsade de Pointes,” says the FDA. Generally when using Celexa to treat depression, some patients are given more than the 40 mg just to try to see a benefit from the drug.
The agency also says that it is those patients who have pre-existing heart conditions and people who are prone to experiencing low potassium and magnesium levels in the blood that are most likely to suffer from changes in the electrical activity of the heart. While the studies so far haven’t shown that there are any actual benefits to taking Celexa for depression anyway, the drug’s label has said that some patients will need as much as 60 mg just to begin treatment for the condition. That amount is far above the dosage listed in this warning.
Celexa’s label has been updated to include this new warning about the dosage limitations and it also includes information about the heart rhythm complications. Celexa is in a drug class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which have also been linked to birth defects when taken by pregnant women. Some of those side effects include persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) septal heart defects, craniosynostosis and omphalocele.
With symptoms like these — and new or more dangerous side effects coming out all the time — SSRIs like Celexa make depression seem like a breeze to cope with in comparison.