FDA issues Celexa heart disease warning

March 29th, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a Celexa warning about the risk of a rare heart condition among patients who take the antidepressant drug. The agency said that it plans to add a new label warning that Celexa can increase the risk of QT syndrome—a rare heart disease that causes problems with the heart’s electrical activity.

Celexa is part of a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Other SSRI drugs include Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro, Zoloft and Paxil. None of these other drugs was include in the FDA’s warning about Celexa heart problems.

Studies have shown that SSRIs like Celexa may increase the risk of birth defects when taken by pregnant women. Studies have linked the use of SSRIs during pregnancy to a number of serious and potentially fatal birth defects, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), septal defects and other congenital heart conditions.

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