Side effects of Celexa have been linked to a potential risk of serious heart rhythm problems when taken at high doses. Use of the antidepressant during pregnancy may also pose a risk of birth defects from Celexa.
CELEXA LAWSUIT STATUS: Birth defect lawsuits are being reviewed by Celexa lawyers on behalf of children who were born with malformations or serious heart problems that may have been caused by exposure to the drug during pregnancy. Potential Celexa lawsuits are also being evaluated for individuals who have suffered a serious or fatal injury due to abnormal heart rhythm problems, such as Torsade de Pointes, after receiving high doses of the medication.
OVERVIEW: Celexa (citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a class of antidepressants. It is approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression and is available as a generic. It is frequently used off-label to treat other psychological disorders.
CELEXA BIRTH DEFECT LAWSUITS: A number of SSRI antidepressants, including Celexa, have been linked to a risk of serious and potentially life threatening birth defects when used during pregnancy, including Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN), heart defects, lung defects, abdominal defects and cranial defects, as well as other congential heart defects.
According to a study published by the British Medical Journal in September 2009, researchers identified an increased risk of heart defects with Celexa and other SSRI antidepressants when the medications are taken in the first trimester, a time when many women do not even know they are pregnant.
In 2006, the FDA released a public health advisory about the risk of antidepressant side effects on infants when taken after the 20th week of pregnancy, including a six-fold increase in the risk of the child suffering from Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN).
CELEXA HEART PROBLEMS: High doses of Celexa have been linked to an increased risk of serious and potentially life threatening heart rhythm problems.
In August 2011, the FDA issued a warning to doctors and patients about potential side effects of Celexa when used at high doses exceeding 40 mg per day. The FDA went as far as calling for doctors to stop prescribing Celexa at levels above 40 mg per day and recommended that patients taking high doses of Celexa to go to their doctors and ask to have their prescription reduced.
According to federal regulators, high doses of Celexa can disrupt the electrical activity of the heart, which can lead to prolonged QT intervals, Torsade de Pointes and disrupt the heart’s normal rhythms, which could be fatal.
Symptoms of abnormal heart rhythms from Celexa could include:
- Irregular Heartbeats
- Shortness of Breath
Patients with low potassium or low magnesium levels may be at an increased risk, the FDA warned. In addition, data suggests that there is no benefit provided by high doses of Celexa that exceed 40 mg per day.