Abnormal Heart Rhythms Associated With High Doses of Celexa

Healthcare officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recently acknowledged new dangers associated with one of the world’s most popular antidepressants. Recent studies suggest that Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), may be responsible for patients developing abnormal electrical activity in their heart. Doses larger than 40 mg a day may significantly increase the risk of someone developing a potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythm.

Celexa is an SSRI antidepressant medication intended to be used in the treatment of a number of major depressive disorders including: bulimia nervosa, OCD, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). As an SSRI, Celexa is responsible for balancing specific chemicals in the brain. More specifically, Celexa works to normalize naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, primarily serotonin. By preventing the reabsorption of serotonin, Celexa allows concentrated amounts of the chemical to stimulate nerve receptors in the brain. Subsequently, the excess stimulation may assist in the treatment of a number of depressive disorders.

Previously, Celexa labels stated that certain patients may require 60 mg per day to combat the symptoms of depression. However, recent studies suggest that doses larger that 40 mg a day show no clinical benefits. While taking more than 40 mg per day may not show clinical benefits, it does significantly increase the risk of dangerous Celexa side effects.

The active ingredient found in Celexa, may coincide with catastrophic side effects when taken in large doses. Recently, the FDA issued a Safety Alert warning the healthcare community that the popular antidepressant 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. These changes in electrical activity, otherwise known as prolongation of the QT interval of the electrocardiogram, may lead to an abnormal heart rhythm (including Torsade de Pointes).

Otherwise known as arrhythmia, abnormal heart rhythm causes the heart to beat irregularly. Recent studies suggest that Celexa may be responsible for patients developing this severe, life-threatening complication. In the event that a patient is diagnosed with arrhythmia, they increase their risk of developing long QT syndrome. Those who develop a prolonged QT interval (the time it takes for the heart muscles to contract and recover), may subsequently increase their risk of developing Torsade de Pointes.

Torsades de pointes roughly translates to “twists of the points.” This potentially lethal form of arrhythmia is characterized by a patient’s two lower heart chambers (ventricles) beating abnormally fast, making the waves on an ECG monitor look twisted. Subsequently, less blood is pumped from the heart to the brain, causing patients to faint suddenly and, often, without any warning. Short episodes last less than one minute and allow time for your heart to correct itself. However, if a torsades de pointes episode persists, it can lead to a life-threatening arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation causes the heart to beat so fast that it quivers and ceases to function all together. Unless it is shocked back into a normal rhythm by a device called a defibrillator, ventricular fibrillation can lead to brain damage and even death. Researchers believe that long QT syndrome may explain some cases of sudden death in young people who otherwise appear healthy.

Due to the severity of these complications, the Celexa drug label has been revised to include the new drug dosage and usage recommendations, as well as information about the potential for QT interval prolongation and torsade de pointes.

Do I Have a Celexa Lawsuit?

The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Celexa lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by Celexa, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.