August 30, 2011

Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) is a brand-name prescription medication used to treat depression. Celexa is in a class of antidepressants called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. Celexa may also be used to treat other conditions such as eating disorders, alcoholism, panic disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social phobia.

An earlier advisory regarding the use of citalopram noted that a small number of people under the age of 25 who took antidepressants including citalopram during clinical studies became suicidal and warned that children under 18 should not normally take citalopram.


On August 24, 2011, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) began informing healthcare professionals and their patients that Celexa should no longer be used at doses greater than 40 mg per day because it can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart, which could be fatal. Patients at particular risk are those with underlying heart conditions and those predisposed to low levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood. Prior to this change, the label for Celexa stated that up to 60 mg per day could be used. Studies have shown that using more than 40 mg of Celexa per day did not have an increased benefit.

The FDA’s safety announcement recommends that patients taking citalopram should not stop taking citalopram or change their dose without talking to their healthcare professional (the sudden stopping of taking citalopram can cause unwanted side effects); patients taking more than 40 mg per day should talk to their healthcare professional about changing their dose; patients taking citalopram should seek immediate care if they experience an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting; healthcare professionals may order an EKG/ECG (electrocardiogram) of their patients taking citalopram to monitor heart rate and rhythm;  and, patients taking citalopram should carefully read their Medication Guide for citalopram and discuss any questions with their healthcare professional.


If you or a loved one suffered serious adverse effects from the use of Celexa, another antidepressant, or any other prescription medication or nonprescription medication, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Visit our website to be connected with local medical malpractice lawyers who may be able to assist you with your claim or call us toll free 800-295-3959.

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