According to CNN, the recommendation—which also covers generic versions of the drug—stems from studies indicating that higher doses can lead to abnormal heart rhythms. Additionally, the FDA pointed to the fact that studies have not suggested any therapeutic advantages to taking doses higher than 40 mg per day.
Celexa, an antidepressant that falls under the class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), is designed to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, potentially improving the mood of patients. Researchers reportedly believe that a lack of serotonin balance can affect a person's mood and lead to depression.
The antidepressant is reportedly available in doses of 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg, but doses of 60 mg can currently be used for specific patients with depression, according to the news source. However, FDA spokesperson Sandy Walsh told the news source that the recommendation for lowering the maximum daily dose was still critical for keeping physicians on top of the latest information.
"Most patients are treated with lower doses of Celexa," Walsh explained. "But we issued the safety communication today [Wednesday] to make sure doctors and patients have the most up-to-date information possible to make treatment decisions."
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In addition, the FDA recommended that doctors should not prescribe Celexa to patients suffering from congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS), a condition of the heart's electrical system that can cause cardiac arrest, the news provider reported.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), Celexa comes as either a tablet or solution that is typically taken once per day. In addition to the potential serious heart side effects associated with the antidepressant, the NCBI says that common issues for patients taking the medication can include muscle or joint pain, or excessive sweating or stomach pain.