If you take the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI, talk to your doctor about the latest FDA recommendations.

In August 2011, the FDA warned that doses above 40 mg per day could lead to potentially fatal heart rhythm disturbances.

Here are the recommendations from March 2012:

  • The maximum dose is still 40 mg per day
  • The maximum dose is 20 mg per day for patients older than 60, patients with liver impairment, or those taking a CYP2C19 inhibitor (such as cimetidine [Tagamet]).
  • Certain people should not take citalopram, including patients with slow heart beat, congenital long QT syndrome (a rare heart condition present at birth), low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, heart failure, or a recent heart attack.
  • People taking other medications that prolong the QT interval of the heart also should not take citalopram. A few examples: Erythromycin (Erythrocin), Sparfloxacin (Zagam) and Levomethadyl (Orlaam).


"Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) - Drug Safety Communication: Revised Recommendations, Potential Risk of Abnormal Heart Rhythms." FDA. Available at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm297624.htm. Accessed on April 23, 2012.

QTDrugs.org. Accessed on April 23, 2012.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com

Published: 23 Apr 2012

Last Modified: 02 Dec 2014