Doug / 08-31-2011 / Consumer Safety

FDA Warns High Dosage of Celexa Causes Heart Problems

According to the Food and Drug Administration, anti-depressant Celexa in higher doses may trigger potentially fatal changes in heart rhythm. The FSA issued a warning saying that the maximum recommended dose of Celexa has been changed to 40 mg per day and that studies showed no benefit in the treatment of depression with doses higher than 40 mg per day. However, research has shown that people taking 60 mg per day are at risk of unsafe changes to the electrical activity of the heart, a condition known as prolongation of the QT interval.

The changes to heart rhythm can be fatal, said the FDA. Based on clinical trial data, the agency estimated that a 40 mg per day dose would be safe.

Patients with underlying heart conditions or those who have low levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood are at an increased risk for QT interval prolongation. Celexa and its generics will no longer allow doses of 60 mg per day and will include a warning about the heart risks.

The FDA warns individuals currently taking high doses of Celexa to speak to their health care practicioners about making changes to their antidepressant medication. Also, patients experiencing irregular heartbeats, shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting should seek immediate care.

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