Celexa Heart Rhythm Problems at Doses Over 40mg

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted August 25, 2011


The Celexa lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are pursuing potential lawsuits for children born with birth defects caused by side effects of the antidepressant when taken taken during pregnancy. However, new warnings released by the FDA this week now suggest that there may be potential claims for users of the medication who suffered serious or fatal heart rhythm problems after using Celexa at daily doses that exceeded 40 mg per day.

>>FDA WARNING: Celexa Heart Rhythm Problems

On August 24, 2011, the FDA issued a new warning that indicates individuals should not receive more than 40mg per day of Celexa, due to an increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which could lead to death. The agency also indicated that there is no proof that taking such high doses of the antidepressant provide any additional benefit.

Celexa (citalopram) was originally introduced in 1989, but is now widely available as generic citalopram. It belongs to a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and is approved by the FDA for treatment of major depression. However, it is often prescribed off-label to treat other psychological problems.

According to the FDA, Celexa side effects may interfere with the normal electrical activity of the heart, which can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm, including prolongation of the QT intervals and Torsade de Pointe. The FDA warned that in some cases the Celexa heart problems could lead to death.

Celexa tablets are available in 10mg, 20mg and 40mg dosages. While the prior drug label indicated that certain patients may require a dose of 60 mg per day, the FDA indicates that more than 40 mg per day should not be taken. Individuals taking more than 40 mg per day of Celexa have been advised to contact their health care provider to discuss reducing the dosage. The agency also urged consumers to seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the following heart problems on Celexa:

  • Irregular Heartbeats
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing the new information provided by the FDA and evaluating whether individuals may be entitled to pursue compensation through a Celexa lawsuit. To submit information about heart rhythm problems from Celexa for review as part of our evaluation of this potential litigation, request a free consultation.

14 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • ali says:

    how do you prove chantix is the cause of strokes or heart attacks?

    Posted on August 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

  • Patti says:

    My husband has been on 80mgs of citaloporam hydrobromide for 2 yrs. After the FDA issued the warning my husbands doctor from the Veterans hospital called for him to come in to have an EKG. They ran the EKG twice because of some irregular read. The VA nurse called back and said his heart was beatinbg to low and they were gonna schedule an appt with a cardiologist. Also the nurse told hime to drop his medication to 60mgs.

    Posted on October 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

  • john says:

    I started celexa at a high dose.Within three months I devolped AF

    Had heart surgery.

    Posted on October 30, 2011 at 3:16 pm

  • Valerie G says:

    I never took more than 40mg daily of Citalopram yet I went into Vtach and had heart surgery.

    Posted on December 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

  • faith says:

    All i know is simple. Don’t play around with people and their meds. I required 60mg and had absolutely no problems. My shrink seems to have faith in the FDA if which i do not. I am not a guinea pig any longer to help govt programs make decisions on who should take what. I do not think taking less amount if not working as it should is an option. If it works and blood work is done, no seemingly bad effects take place leave it alone. I now after with drawing on my own have issues with my heart flip flopping. I have chronic for 16 years and needed the celexa. Those who have had no type of depression or what to admit they do, have no idea, what life is like on this side of the fence where the grass is NOT green. I have been on so many meds that i have issues with including fillers, dyes etc.

    Posted on February 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

  • Ronda says:

    I have only been taking 20mg, but had a heart/fainting spell and had all heart work done at the doctor and was told I was fine. I still have had episodes of heart flutter and fainting. I have been weaning myself off the drug for the past few months.

    Posted on February 12, 2012 at 1:03 am

  • Pat says:

    My husband has been taking Citalopram HBR 40 mg for several months. Several months ago had EKG, Echo Gram and Nuc Stress test. All can back OK. However, on Dec. 21 2011 he suffered a heart attack and passed away.

    Posted on February 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm

  • Paul says:

    I took 10 mg of Celexa and I had severe heart palpatatios. I also had weakness and was very tired. After about 3 weeks I became very suicidal and I stopped taking the drug. I know the makers of Celexa paid for there own trails. They sould all be locked up!!!!

    Posted on March 24, 2012 at 10:29 am

  • Stephanie says:

    I have just stated taking 20 mg of Celexa(about 3 months) I noticed some slight vision problems and a feeling of lightheadedness in the beginning but.those symptoms have since disappeared. I pray for all users.

    Posted on May 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm

  • Valerie says:

    I started taking citlopram in March,2012. Just after I got to the dose of 40 mg I started geting headacks that mimicked a stroke. This head ack. went on for a whole month. My cardioligest sagested that the headack mit be coming from the citalopram. I cut my dose down to 20 mg. By May, 2012 I started having heat atack symtoms. After a lot of testing it was dicoverd that I had dying tissue at the bottom of my heart and escemia on the top. I had exsiting heart problems and I should never have been put on this medication in the first place.

    Posted on July 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm

  • Brenda says:

    I was prescribed this medicationfor PTSD, it has caused irrigular heart beats dizzyness, I have difficulty beathing and I am undergoing a series of cardiac testl, to include a halter monitor. Although I have not had a child who suffered because of this medication.

    Posted on August 29, 2012 at 10:22 am

  • Karen says:

    I was taking 60 mgs of Celexa and had a mild heart attack. I am 47 yrs old. They lowered me to 30 and now have switched me to Lexapro. How do u determine if the heart attack was from Celexa or family history or from being overweight??

    Posted on August 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

  • Debbie says:

    I was taking 80mg of citalopram daily for about 2 yrs. After the warning I cut back to 40mg and added wellbutron. Within 6 to 12 months I was diagnosed with Bradycardia and now have a pacemaker.

    Posted on March 7, 2013 at 10:39 pm

  • Patricia says:

    I started taking Citalopram 40 mg in September 2013 and within 2 ½ weeks I started having problems with irregular heart beat, dizziness, shortness of breath. I did stop taking the drug when I starting experiencing these symptoms. I went to the doctor October 25th after over a week of suffering the irregular heart beat, dizziness and shortness of breath. The reason why I didn’t go in sooner was I lost my health insurance when I lost my job. The doctor did an ekg cause my heart rate was 146 and was put on 50 mg of beta blockers to bring down the heart rate. That weekend went to acute care and the doctor up my beta blockers to 100 mg. On November 6th I went to the ER cause my heart was racing at 126 and I had shortness of breath. I was given 2 injections of beta blockers when didn’t get my heart rate down, so I was given calcium beta blockers and finally the heart rate came down, but had to stay in the hospital over night. When I was discharged the heart rate was 86. The hospital made an appointment to see an heart doctor on November 18th. The two weeks I couldn’t do much, cause if I did movement my heart would shoot up and I would have the shortness of breath. I made it the doctor appointment with the heart doctor and he said that my heart was in a artial flutter and had to have my heart shock to get it back into rhythm. The next day November 19th I was admitted as an out patient at the heart hospital and had the procedure to get my heart back into rhythm. It did work my heart did go back to rhythm but the doctor caution me that if my heart went out of rhythm that I would have to have a pacemaker inserted. I have been checking my heart rate everyday and taking blood thinners. All because I took this drug for two weeks. I have an dull aching pain around the heart everyday when I try to do house work. I get frustrated that I can’t work like I used to three months ago. Now I have over a $10,000 + medical bills all because I took this drug.

    Posted on December 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm

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