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Published on Aug 25, 2011 by Edgar Snyder

FDA Alert: Celexa May Cause Heart Problems

prescription for Celexa

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting physicians and patients about the dangers of taking doses higher than 40 mg per day of the antidepressant Celexa – also known as citalopram hydrobromide – because it can cause abnormal heart rhythms.

Citalopram hydrobromide is part of the prescription drug family of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The drug, which was approved by the FDA in 1999, is used to treat depression by increasing the amount of serotonin in a patient's brain.

The drug label originally stated that some patients may need to take 60 mg per day for it to be effective for them. Recent studies show, however, that citalopram hydrobromide is not more effective at dosages above 40 mg per day. Higher doses have been shown to cause changes in the electrical activity of the heart and abnormal heart rhythm – a condition that can be fatal.

Patients with existing heart problems and those who are predisposed to low levels of magnesium or potassium in the blood stream are more likely to develop these dangerous side effects.

The drug's medication label has been updated to include the new dose limits and warnings about taking higher than 40 mg a day, as well as the potential for heart-related side effects.

Those with concerns about Celexa and citalopram hydrobromide should talk with their healthcare professional. Do not stop taking any prescription medication without seeking medical advice first – doing so could cause serious complications.

For more information on Celexa, including other side effects, visit EdgarSnyder.com.

"FDA Drug Safety Communication: Abnormal Heart Rhythms Associated With High Doses of Celexa (Citalopram Hydrobromide)." FDA.gov. August 24, 2011.
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