ADVOCATING FOR VICTIMS OF DANGEROUS ANTIDEPRESSANTS
Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) is an antidepressant medication manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals. The drug was introduced to the market in 1999 and is one of the most prescribed medications to treat depression today. More than 30 million patients have been treated with Celexa since being put on the market.
Part of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of antidepressants, Celexa works by increasing the amount of serotonin in a person’s brain, increasing their mood and happiness.
Common side effects of Celexa include:
- Dry mouth
- Coughing, sneezing, sore throat
- Weight changes
Like other SSRIs, Celexa poses potentially severe and fatal hazards to consumers as well.
ABNORMAL HEART RHYTHMS ASSOCIATED WITH CELEXA
In 2001, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to healthcare professionals and patients that Celexa can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart. Previously, Celexa drug labels claimed that some patients may require up to 60 mg per day to treat their depression. In the warning, the FDA stated that doses higher than 40 mg per day could lead to fatal heart rhythm issues, including Torsade de Pointes.
The FDA warning regarding Celexa also stated:
- Patients taking certain other drugs (including antacids) should take an even lower dosage of Celexa.
- Patients with underlying heart conditions are at a heightened risk of heart complications.
- Patients who are predisposed to low levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood are at an increased risk of heart rhythm issues.
- Patients should refrain from using more than 40 mg of Celexa per day.
- High doses of Celexa (citalopram) can lead to changes in the electrical activity of the heart, signaled by irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fainting.
Celexa’s Patient Medication Guide has been updated to reflect the FDA’s warning regarding the increased risk of heart problems. If you suffered a heart rhythm issue after taking Celexa, contact our experienced dangerous drug attorneys at Thomas J. Henry. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim.
WHAT IS SEROTONIN SYNDROME?
One of the biggest dangers of antidepressants and SSRIs is serotonin syndrome. The potentially life-threatening condition occurs when your body as too high of a level of serotonin, which is often caused by SSRIs like Celexa. Serotonin syndrome can be deadly if left untreated.
Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
CAN CELEXA CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS IF TAKEN WHILE PREGNANT?
SSRIs, such as Celexa, potentially increase the risk of birth defects when mothers take the antidepressants during pregnancy, some studies suggest. Children born to women taking SSRIs (especially during the third trimester) may show symptoms consistent with serotonin syndrome. In addition, newborns are at an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), which is a potentially life-threatening condition.
CELEXA DEEMED UNSAFE FOR PEDIATRIC USE
Celexa is not approved for pediatric use by the FDA. However, physicians can prescribe the SSRI to teens for unapproved uses, also known as “off-label,” which can prove to be deadly. Celexa is no different than other SSRIs in that a black box warning is present that warns of the potential increased risk of suicidal behaviors and thoughts — especially in children, adolescents, and young adults. Doctors have a responsibility when prescribing drugs “off-label,” and if you or your child have been harmed due to an adverse event from Celexa, contact our experienced dangerous drug attorneys for a free consultation.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED PHARMACEUTICAL LITIGATION ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one have been harmed after taking Celexa, contact Thomas J. Henry. Whether you suffered from a cardiovascular episode or gave birth to a child with birth defects while taking Celexa, we are here to help you. Our experienced dangerous drug lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case. You may be entitled to compensation for you or your child’s injuries or illnesses.