Celexa Overview

What is Celexa?

Celexa, under the generic group citalopram belongs to a medical classification known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs. Celexa is produced to help cure depression.

Celexa is manufactured by the Forest Laboratories, Inc., and was given approval by US Food and Drug Administration in 1998.

Celexa FDA Alert – Serotonin Syndrome

FDA released a warning alert declaring that fatal condition known as serotonin syndrome when medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs like Celexa, and medicines that are used to help cure migraine headaches called as 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonists or triptans are taken simultaneously. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are as follows:

  • Hallucinations
  • Restlessness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Unstable and quick changes in blood pressure level
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Coma

Serotonin syndrome may tend to happen when beginning or increasing the dosage of SSRI or a triptan. If you are taking migraine headache treatment, ask your doctor if your medicine is triptan.

Celexa FDA Alert – Antidepressants and Pregnant Women

FDA gave an alert warning in July 2006, declaring the results of study on the use of antidepressant treatments during pregnancy by mothers of infants born with severe condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn or PPHN.

Newborn with PPHN is characterized by abnormal flow of blood through the heart and lungs, thus, does not getting adequate oxygen to their bodies. Babies born with PPHN can be very sick and may die. Results from the study revealed that newborn babies to mothers who took SSRI twenty weeks or later during their pregnancies had very high chances of getting PPHN, as compared to infants born to mothers who did not take any antidepressants during their pregnancies.

FDA also announced its plan to go further into evaluating the impact of SSRI in babies with PPHN.

Consult with your doctor if you are taking Celexa and are pregnant, or are considering to become pregnant. You and your doctor will be able to come up with the best way to treat your depression during pregnancy.

Celexa and the Increased Risk of Suicidality

FDA released a public health advisory instructing all producers of antidepressant medicines to modify their product labeling ad placed a boxed warning and expanded warning statements that healthcare experts to an increased risk of suicidality, a condition characterized by suicidal thoughts and behavior among children and adolescents being treated with these medications. The Forest Laboratories Inc.,  the producer of Celexa, thus, added a black box warning to Celexa’s prescribing information as a response to FDA advisory.

FDA issued another public health advisory last June 2005 declaring the recent scientific publications recommended the possibility of increase in the chances for suicidal behavior among adults who are taking antidepressants should be closely monitored and observed for any sign of worsening depression and increased suicidality. Checking on these patients is very important when the treatment starts and when doses are decreased or increased.  FDA is coordinating with producers of antidepressants to completely evaluate the potential risk of suicidality among adults treated with these treatments.

Who should not take Celexa?

Avoid taking Celexa while you are taking another antidepressant drugs that treat depression, particularly the Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor or MAOI, or if you discontinued using MAOI within the last 14 days.  Taking these drugs close in time can result to severe and fatal reactions such as seizures or convulsions, high body temperature, and coma.

MAOI medicines, including Nardil or phenelzine sulfate, Parnate or tranylcypromine sulfate, Marplan or isocarboxazid, and other brands.

Celexa Health Risks

Aside to the health risks previously announced by FDA alerts, there may be other potential risks related with Celexa.

Do not discontinue taking Celexa abruptly because by doing so, may result in damaging side effects. Your doctor should gradually reduce your dosage.

Other risks of taking Celexa may include the following:

  • Bleeding problems, particularly if it is taken with aspirin, NSAID or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen, or other drugs that affect bleeding;
  • Manic behavior or being hyperactive, excitable, or extremely elated;
  • Seizures, even if Celexa is not taken simultaneously with MAOI;
  • Increased risks of suicidality or having suicidal thoughts or actions;
  • Increased risks, if you are pregnant or may become pregnant where babies born to mothers who are taking Celexa later in pregnancy period may develop problems such as difficulty in breathing and feeding;
  • Sexual problems which includes erectile dysfunction or impotence, abnormal ejaculation, difficulty in reaching orgasm, or reduced libido or sexual desires.

Other common side effects of Celexa are:

  • Sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

It is indeed important to inform your doctor about all medical conditions that you are experiencing, especially if you have liver or kidney illnesses or glaucoma. Tell him/her also if you are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed your baby.

Can other medicines or foods affect Celexa?

To avoid harmful reactions with any medicine you might be taking, discuss with your doctor about all the prescription and non-prescription treatments, herbal supplements, and vitamins you are taking.

Avoid taking Celexa with Lexapro or escitalopram, another medicine that is prescribed to treat depression because these drugs are the same and taking them simultaneously will increase the risk of overdose.

If you are planning to drink alcohol while taking Celexa, discuss it with your doctor.

Celexa – Getting Legal help

Since most medicines have potential side effects, the drug producer has the obligation to make its products safe for human consumption and inform the medical community and the general public about its known risks related with its drugs. If the producer of any medicine fails in this responsibility, they can be held liable if patients are injured as the result of insufficient warnings under the legal theory called as “product liability.”

If you or any of your family has experienced any serious symptoms or uncommon medical conditions associated with the use of Celexa, you should contact your doctor immediately. Then, you can also contact and discuss with an experienced lawyer to discuss your options and protect your legal rights for any injury caused by the use of Celexa.

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