This antidepressant medication Celexa® (citalopram hydrobromide) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of serious depression, though it is also commonly prescribed for anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
In August of 2011, the FDA issued a warning to health care professionals and consumers that the medication should not be taken at doses exceeding 40mg per day, due to the potential for abnormal heart rhythms.
If you or a family member has taken Celexa® and suffered a heart complication, please speak with a Celexa® injury attorney in your area. He or she can advise you of your options and, if it looks like you may have a case, help you file a claim to recover damages.
Celexa® and Abnormal Heart Beats
Your heart beats because of an electrical signal that passes through your heart muscle. That signal stimulates the myocardium to contract and relax in a steady and rhythmic movement. A prolonged QT interval, or irregular pattern of the heartbeat, is just one type of short-circuiting that can cause a loss of consciousness or a heart attack that may be fatal. The abnormal contraction or relaxation of the heart muscle that causes an irregular heart beat is known as an arrhythmia.
The FDA has warned the public that higher doses of citalopram hydrobromide can cause QT interval prolongation that can lead to the development of a fatal heart rhythm called torsades de pointes. It is believed that this arrhythmia occurs when certain prescription medications such as Celexa® and the similar drug Citalopram actually short-circuit the electrical signals in the brain.
Patients taking Celexa® who have underlying heart underlying heart conditions or are predisposed to hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia are at a higher risk for developing this dangerous heart rhythm.
Other Side Effects of Celexa®
Celexa® is classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI), which works by increasing serotonin in different parts of the body. By the nature of the drug, common side effects can include:
- Weight changes
- Frequent urination
- Diminished sex drive
- Dry mouth
- Anorgasmia (sexual dysfunction)
- Increased sweating