The FDA is expanding prior warnings over serious and potentially life-threatening Celexa heart rhythm problems, cautioning doctors against giving high doses of the antidepressant to the elderly, poeple with liver problems or those taking the heartburn drug Tagamet. The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are continuing to review this new information and determine whether individuals who have suffered from heart side effects of Celexa may be entitled to financial compensation through a lawsuit.

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Celexa (citalopram) is a popular antidepressant, which was first introduced in 1989, but is now widely available as a generic. Celexa belongs to a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).

While Celexa is approved by the FDA for treatment of major depression, it is often prescribed off-label to treat other psychological problems. However, Celexa side effects can cause disturbances in the electrical activity of the heart, which controls how the heart beats.

According to an FDA drug safety communication issued on March 28, doctors have been advised that certain patients who may be at an increased risk for these heart rhythm problems from Celexa should not receive doses that exceed 20 mg per day. This latest position comes after the FDA first warned about the potential Celexa heart side effects in August, when it warned against use of more than 40 mg per day, especially among patients who had low potassium and magnesium.

The additional Celexa dosing restrictions apply to people who are over the age of 60, who have
hepatic (liver) impairment, who are taking the heartburn drug Tagamet, and who either have
trouble metabolizing CYP2C19 or are taking a CYP2C19 inhibitor. The warning backs off of a
contraindication for patients with congenital long QT syndrome, however, saying that now the
drug is simply “not recommended” for those patients.

The FDA said that it expanded the dosing recommendations to be more specific because of new post marketing data and in recognition of the fact that some patients who are at higher risk of
heart rhythm problems may still need to take the antidepressant.

Potential signs of heart side effects from Celexa may include:

  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Sudden Death


At this time, the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are evaluating the potential for Celexa lawsuits as a result of the drug makers’ failure to adequately warn about the risk of these serious and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problems. To submit information about an injury suffered by yourself, a friend or family member for review as part of our evaluation of this potential litigation, request a free claim evaluation.