The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says high-dosing of the antidepressant citalopram hydrobromide, marketed under the brand name Celexa or the generic citalopram, carries a risk of heart arrhythmias.
The FDA issued a safety alert Aug. 24, 2011, stating that citalopram should not be prescribed in doses over 40 mg/day. People with existing heart conditions and those with low blood levels of potassium and magnesium are most at risk for developing arrhythmias. There is no scientific evidence that doses higher than 40 mg are more effective at reducing symptoms of depression, according to the agency.
Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is believed to increase the brain's serotonin levels.
Forest Laboratories markets Celebrex in the United States and Canada. Now off-patent, nearly a dozen companies sell generic versions of citalopram in the United States.