October 21, 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

Prescription Drugs Now Factor in Higher Percentage of Fatal Car Crashes Than Alcohol or Marijuana

Prescription Drugs Now Factor in Higher Percentage of Fatal Car Crashes Than Alcohol or Marijuana

Pin It

Prescription drugs and multiple drug combinations are frequently found in the blood of drivers involved in fatal car crashes on US roads, according to a new study in Public Health Reports. Drivers today are more likely to test positive for drugs than drivers 20 years ago, and drugged drivers are now likely to be older than 50. Gone are the days when drunk drivers were our only concern—alcohol is but one of MANY drugs that can make you dangerous behind the wheel. And now many people are on multiple drug cocktails, especially prescription drugs, which multiplies their impairment.

Use of Aborted Human Cell Lines in Vaccines Linked to Rise in Autism

Use of Aborted Human Cell Lines in Vaccines Linked to Rise in Autism

Pin It

Researchers from the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute recently published a study showing a correlation with the introduction of human fetal cell lines used as contaminants in childhood vaccines, and the rapid rise of autism. The study was published in the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology, an open access Academic Journal.

I reviewed the full length research paper and found the methodology of the research very thorough. The researchers tracked not only the introduction of aborted fetal cell lines introduced into vaccines used in the childhood vaccination scheduled in the United States, but they also tracked standards for autism diagnoses as published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. This manual is used in the field of psychology and has undergone several revisions. One of the claims made for the rising rate of autism in America today is that it is primarily related to changes of diagnosis. This study used sophisticated software to account for these changes in autism diagnosis, and found:

“Autistic disorder change points years are coincident with introduction of vaccines manufactured using human fetal cell lines, containing fetal and retroviral contaminants, into childhood vaccine regimens. This pattern was repeated in the US, UK, Western Australia and Denmark. Thus, rising autistic disorder prevalence is directly related to vaccines manufactured utilizing human fetal cells. Increased paternal age and DSM revisions were not related to rising autistic disorder prevalence.”

Boston Nurses Speak Out Against Mandatory Flu Shots

Boston Nurses Speak Out Against Mandatory Flu Shots

Pin It

Last month (September 2014) the Massachusetts Nurses Association sued Brigham and Women’s Hospital over a new policy that required nurses to receive the annual flu vaccine as a condition for employment.

The nurses were, of course, criticized by the medical establishment. They were accused of putting their own interests above the needs of patients. Lynn Nicholas, president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, stated that the nurses were: “putting a pet peeve of theirs above the safety and well-being of the patients they serve, their families, visitors to the hospital, and their colleagues.”

Pet peeve? Really?

When nurses all across the United States and Canada are willing to sacrifice their jobs and careers to avoid the annual flu shot, it is time to sit up and take notice. This is obviously something much more than a “pet peeve.”

Trish Powers, representing Brigham nurses in Boston fired back a comment that The Boston Globe published. It is titled “Brigham nurses know flu vaccine can do harm.”

Gardasil: The Day Our Daughter’s Life Changed

Gardasil: The Day Our Daughter’s Life Changed

Pin It

The Gardasil vaccine has changed Skylee’s life in so many ways and we do not know how many more symptoms will show up and change her life even more than it has already done. Our whole family has been affected by this vaccine and all of our lives have been turned upside down that terrible day in 2013.

If only the doctors would recognize Skylee has gone from being a healthy young girl to an invalid when the only major change in her life occurred on the day she had that single shot of Gardasil.

Will There Be An Ebola Outbreak in America?

Will There Be An Ebola Outbreak in America?

Pin It

So here is what inquiring minds want to know:

Why did U.S. health officials in Atlanta and on the ground in Africa ignore the exploding Ebola epidemic last spring?

Why did U.S. government officials fly American aid workers infected with Ebola to the U.S. rather than treating them with experimental drugs at hospitals in Africa?

Why did the U.S. government press the United Nations to adopt a resolution calling for no restrictions on international travel from Liberia and other Ebola-stricken countries?

Why did the Centers for Disease Control, supposedly the world’s leading infection control agency, fail to immediately assist Texas health officials when the first case of Ebola was diagnosed on US soil to guarantee that, at a minimum, the kind of infection control measures used in most nursing homes in America would be carried out?

Why has the Director of the CDC repeatedly stated that the only way a person can transmit Ebola is if they have a fever and said that people cannot get Ebola unless they have direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person – but that under no circumstances is Ebola airborne – when he knows, or should know, those statements could be false?

And why are experimental Ebola vaccines being fast tracked into human trials and promoted as the final solution rather than ramping up testing and production of the experimental ZMapp drug that has already saved the lives of several Ebola infected Americans?

A logical conclusion is that some people in industry, government and the World Health Organization did not want the Ebola outbreak to be confined to several nations in Africa because that would fail to create a lucrative global market for mandated use of fast tracked Ebola vaccines by every one of the seven billion human beings living on this planet.

read more


Get the news right in your inbox!