Popular AntidepressantsTied to Irregular Heartbeat, Massachusetts General Hospital Study
Published: Jan 30, 2013
A 2011 warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the popular antidepressant citalopram (Celexa) left many patients and physicians with more questions than answers. Now an analysis of the medical records of more than 38,000 patients by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators clarifies the contribution of citalopram and other antidepressants to lengthening of the QT interval, an aspect of the heart's electrical activity that -- when prolonged -- may increase the risk of dangerous arrhythmias. The study supported the FDA's warning that higher doses of citalopram were associated with a prolonged QT interval but also found that the effects of some other antidepressants were quite different.