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"The study of healthy volunteers found that the likelihood of electrical defects in the heart rose dramatically as the dose was increased. The abnormalities — known as QT prolongation — makes people vulnerable to heart arrhythmias and to Torsade de Pointes, a rare speeding of the heart rhythm which can be fatal."
The study carried out also found that it took patients who had taken a 60mg dose of Citalopram twice as long for their hearts to recover, than compared to a 20mg dose.
13 millon Citalopram prescriptions were made last year in England and Wales (twice as many as Prozac prescriptions)Despite this advice the MHRA do not even know if the lower dose is safe, as tests have not been done on a 40mg dose.
Reports say that GPs were made aware of this risk last autumn but it is only till now that the public have been informed of the potential risks.
It really does make you wonder what sort of tests were carried out before these drugs were put on the market. What are the dosage guidelines? How can we know what is safe?
Are you worried by these reports? How much would you prescribe? Are patients concerned?
The MHRA's original warning for healthcare professionals: