October 13, 2016

by Paul Govern | Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, 8:38 AM

A Vanderbilt University study published today in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry may help patients prescribed higher doses of certain antidepressants feel better about attributed cardiac risks.

In high doses, the antidepressants citalopram and escitalopram have been flagged by regulators as posing risk for abnormal heart rhythms.

The new study from Vanderbilt, however, finds that these drugs in high doses don’t appear to bring any greater risk of sudden cardiac death than comparable doses of other SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) used to treat mood disorders.

Citalopram is marketed under the name Celexa and escitalopram under the names Cipralex and Lexapro (other brand names also apply for both drugs).

“I think our study can provide some reassurance for people who may be benefitting from higher doses of these medications. It shows that at least there’s not a major public health threat, that if there is increased risk, it’s relatively uncommon,” said Wayne Ray, Ph.D., professor of Health Policy, who led the study.

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