Citalopram, a popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant in the UK, has received a safety warning for an increased risk of side effects related to the heart. Doctors have been advised to lower dosages in another instance of SSRI side effects coming to light following studies involving the drugs.
SSRI antidepressants are among the most prescribed drugs throughout the world, and include Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro and Celexa. Many of these drugs have been found to increase the risks of severe side effects, particularly congenital birth defects among children of women who use the drugs during pregnancy.
Antidepressant birth defects related to SSRIs include persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), atrial septal defects and other heart defects. Thousands of patients have filed antidepressant lawsuits alleging the drug manufacturers failed to warn them of the increased risks of side effects.