Experts: Patients must be warned over severe side effects of popular happiness pills

Experts: Patients must be warned over severe side effects of popular happiness pills

Independent experts caution against taking antidepressants with the substances CITALOPRAM and ESCITALOPRAM, as they increase the risk of heart disease - including cardiac arrest - compared to other antidepressants.

The drug citalopram is suspected to contribute to an increased risk of cardiac arrest

The pill has many names

You can check for yourself if the substances are in your tablets. Also look for different names on the topics citalopram and escitalopram such as: Cipramil Cipralex Citalopram Escitalopram Premalex Seroplex... with many more. Many of the products are sold under names that do not directly contain the active substance, citalopram or escitalopram, but have been replaced by a more selling product name.

“Citalopram and escitalopram are added to the list of substances to avoid.”

The respected and independent French medical journal, La Revue Prescrire, is explicit in its warning to use drugs with both antidepressants.

Prescrire is supported by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), and the French medical experts have previously revealed life-threatening drugs, which were later removed from the market.

What is citalopram?

Citalopram is an antidepressant used for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and compulsive actions.

Citalopram belongs to the group of medicines called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – also called happiness pills) that are prepared for depression.

Citalopram was initially launched by Danish Lundbeck (H. Lundbeck A / S) in 1989 and came to the United States in 1998 before the patent expired in 2003.

Since 2003, a large number of pharmaceutical companies have launched their own antidepressants based on citalopram.

Lundbeck has further developed citalopram under the name escitalopram, which is also covered by the new warning.

Side effects: Citalopram can lead to several heart conditions

It is Prescire’s annually updated list, ” Subjects you should avoid in 2016 “, which is based on research results from 2010 to 2015 and is intended for doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, which now includes the two antidepressants.

The experts note that citalopram and escitalopram are not more effective than other SSRIs (serotonin-increasing antidepressant drugs – also called happiness pills) but cause more heart disease.

Among other things, they emphasize that the substances in higher doses can cause cardiac arrhythmia – specifically prolonging the QT intervals.

As early as 2011, this first caused the US Medicines Agency, the FDA, and later the Medicines Agency worldwide, to lower the maximum permitted dose for citalopram.

Pharmaceutical companies: Nothing new

Lundbeck denies that there is anything new in the information from Prescrire and refers to the changes in the recommended dose for citalopram, introduced in 2011.

“Since 2011, the Swedish Medicines Agency has informed physicians of problems with prolonging the QT intervals, insofar as they chose to increase the dose above the recommended maximum dose,” says Lundbeck’s communications director Anders Schroll.

“This is not news,” he continues, emphasizing that escitalopram has not been charged with a reduced maximum dose, but that doctors are informed of the risks associated with exceeding the recommended maximum dose.

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