July 25, 2014

Anti-depressants Can Cause Sudden Death

pin it button Anti depressants Can Cause Sudden Death

Doctor With Pills 300x200 Anti depressants Can Cause Sudden Death

Most antidepressants cause a change in the electrical pulse of the heart, which changes the rhythm of the heart beat. It’s called an extended QT interval—and it can result in sudden death with no warning of any kind: BMJ study.

by Heidi Stevenson
Gaia Health

The antidepressant citalopram—brand names Celexa and Cipramil—has joined a growing list of drugs that can cause sudden death by stopping the heart. The study, published in the BMJ[1], found that the drug causes lengthening in the QT interval, a part of the heart beat cycle.

Several drugs are noted for this issue. The most famous is methadone, noted for sudden death in some individuals, especially when dosage is increased too rapidly. There are no symptoms indicating a risk. A perfectly normal person will literally drop dead.

The heart beat is regulated by electrical pulses. Certain points of the wave pattern that’s printed out for an electrocardiogram (ECG) are labeled Q, R, S, and T, as illustrated in the graphic to the right.

If the time between Q and T is lengthened, it’s referred to as extended, elongated, or long QT syndrome, or QT interval prolongation. The only way to know if it’s happening is through an ECG.There are generally no external clues, so outside of testing, you would have no way of knowing that you’ve been affected.

The Study

The study’s authors are quite specific about the risk associated with Celexa. The larger the dose, the greater the risk. They noted that the FDA has said:

Citalopram causes dose-dependent QT interval prolongation. Citalopram should no longer be prescribed at doses greater than 40 mg per day.

A quick look at Medscape’s drug reference for citalopram confirms that statement[2].

The researchers examined 38,397 adults who were taking either an antidepressant or methadone at some point between February 1990 and August 2011, more than two decades. The antidepressants that subjects took were citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline, bupropion (Zyban), duloxetine (Cymbalta), mirtazapine (Remeron), nortriptyline, and venlafaxine (Effexor).

All study participants received an electrocardiogram (ECG) 14-90 days after they’d taken their prescribed drug. The study found that all antidepressants affect the QT interval to some degree, though methadone was worse by a significant amount.

Interestingly, bupropion (Zyban), had the opposite result of the other drugs. The QT interval was shortened. That, though, doesn’t make it safe, as a shorter QT interval can cause palpitations and fainting, and can also result in sudden cardiac arrest.

The worst of the antidepressants for lengthening the QT interval were citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), and amitriptyline. However, overall, one in five people taking these drugs experienced abnormal ECGs with extended QT intervals. The authors state that the clinical significance of these findings is unknown.

We do know that an extended QT interval can result in sudden death. In reality, this doesn’t happen often—though no one can quantify the frequency of death. So, it seems that the only ethical approach is to inform people of the potential risk of sudden death by taking these drugs.

But we already know that genuine informed consent almost never happens. People are routinely told that the risk is minimal and the specifics are not stated. Ultimately, though, the only one who lives the the results are the person inside your own skin.

More Complete List of Drugs that Prolong the QT Interval

A 2004 article in the New England Journal of Medicine discusses prolongation of the QT interval. It listed the known drugs that can cause it[3]. They were:

Disopyramide
Dofetilide
Ibutilide
Procainamide
Quinidine
Sotalol
Bepridil
Amiodarone
Arsenic trioxide
Cisapride
Calcium-channel blockers: lidoflazine
Antiinfectives: clarithromycin, erythromycin, halofantrine, pentamidine, sparfloxacin
Antiemetics: domperidone, droperidol
Antipsychotics: chlorpromazine, halperidol, mesoridazine, thioridazine, pimozide
Methadone

Sources:

  1. QT interval and antidepressant use: a cross sectional study of electronic health records, BMJ; Victor M Castro, team lead, Caitlin C Clements, clinical research coordinator, Shawn N Murphy, associate professor of neurology, Vivian S Gainer, team lead, Maurizio Fava, Slater Family professor of psychiatry, Jeffrey B Weilburg, assistant professor of psychiatry, Jane L Erb, assistant professor of psychiatry, Susanne E Churchill, executive director, National Center for Biomedical Computing, Isaac S Kohane, director, National Center for Biomedical Computing, Dan V Iosifescu, associate professor of psychiatry, Jordan W Smoller, associate professor of psychiatry, Roy H Perlis, associate professor of psychiatry; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f288 (Published 29 January 2013)
  2. citalopram (Rx) – Celexa
  3. Drug-Induced Prolongation of the QT Interval, New England Journal of Medicine; Alastair J.J. Wood, M.D., Editor


0 commentsback to post

Other articlesgo to homepage

700 Lipitor and Diabetes Lawsuit Claims Filed Against Pfizer

700 Lipitor and Diabetes Lawsuit Claims Filed Against Pfizer

Before its patent expired, Lipitor was the best-selling drug of all time. Lipitor, the drug that artificially lowers cholesterol, outsold almost all other drugs combined during the height of its run, before the patent ran out allowing generics to enter the market. The FDA did not issue warnings about the dangerous side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs until after Lipitor’s patent expired.

The information here comes from an attorney, as attorneys across the nation see the economic opportunities now to sue Pfizer for damage done to millions of peoples’ health.

Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors’ Orders

Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors’ Orders

1 in 3 veterans polled say they are on 10 different medications.

While there is concern about overmedicating and self-medicating — using alcohol or drugs without a doctor’s approval — there are also some veterans who are trying to do the opposite: They’re kicking the drugs, against doctor’s orders.

Legal Child Kidnapping: Has the U.S. Become one of the Most Dangerous Places in the World for Children to Live?

Legal Child Kidnapping: Has the U.S. Become one of the Most Dangerous Places in the World for Children to Live?

The right to legal counsel, your Miranda rights, and the right to a speedy jury trial are American rights protected by our Constitution. But not in family court, where a single judge can decide whether or not you are a fit parent. Child Protection Services (CPS) has more power today than the police, sheriff, or FBI, as they can come into your home and remove your child without a search warrant or court order.

Someone who doesn’t like you, for any reason, can make a phone call and provide an anonymous “tip” with the result of you losing your children. Doctors you disagree with can call CPS and have your child removed from your home with no search warrant or court order, by simply reporting you to CPS. This is in fact happening all across America to thousands of families. It is time to put a stop to this.

Study: Insulin May Actually Accelerate Death in Type 2 Diabetes

Study: Insulin May Actually Accelerate Death in Type 2 Diabetes

In the United States, nearly 80 million people, or one in four has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. What’s worse, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes among children and teens has also skyrocketed. The most recent data, reveals that, between 2001 and 2009, incidence of type 1 diabetes among children under the age of 19 rose by 21 percent. Incidence of type 2 diabetes among children aged 10-19 rose by 30 percent during that same timeframe!

Statistics such as these point to two very important facts. First, it tells us that diabetes cannot be primarily caused by genetics, and secondly, it literally screams that something we’re doing, consistently and en masse, is horribly wrong, and we need to address it. A study published in the June 30, 2014 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that insulin therapy in type 2 diabetic patients may indeed do more harm than good.

Lawsuits For HPV Vaccine Damages Begin in Spain

Lawsuits For HPV Vaccine Damages Begin in Spain

Spain joins the growing list of countries where lawsuits are rolling in for damages caused by the HPV vaccine. The vaccine remains on the market in the U.S. and profits from legal immunity to lawsuits.

read more


Get the news right in your inbox!