The FDA has released new prescribing guidelines for doctors regarding the popular anti-depressant Celexa. Doctors can no longer prescribe the drug in doses over 40mg, and are warned against prescribing the drug to patients with known heart conditions.
Celexa (generic name Citalopram Hydobromide) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is commonly used to treat depression by increasing serotonin in the brain to improve mood. But based on recent studies showing that Celexa poses heart-related risks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has restricted the dosage at which Celexa may be prescribed.
The FDA made the label change after studies showed that Celexa causes abnormal heart rhythms and has no therapeutic benefit when taken at a high dose. Doctors will no longer be able to prescribe the drug at doses higher than 40mg. Generics of Celexa are also included in the label change.
Patients at risk for experiencing an adverse cardiac event
while on Celexa include those with underlying heart conditions and those with low levels of magnesium and potassium in the blood. Doctors are not to prescribe the drug to patients with congenital long QT syndrome (CQTS), a condition which affects the electrical system of the heart and can lead to cardiac arrest or sudden death.
The FDA recommends that patients taking Celexa consult their doctor before discontinuing the medicine, as serious side effects may occur after discontinued use. If you are currently taking Celexa and are experiencing a shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or dizziness, the FDA recommends you see a doctor right away. Report any adverse events experienced while on Celexa to the FDA’s MedWatch Program