Citalopram and borderline ECG

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I have recently been diagnosed with Bipolar II and am currently taking quetiapine 150mg and Citalopram 40mg. However, since my new diagnoses I am having the quert upped to 300mgs and the Citalopram discontinued over 6 weeks lowering the dose. My psychiatrist said my ECG was borderline at 446 and the cut off point is 470. They have reassured me that it's nothing to worry about but I'm terrified I'm going to have lasting heart damage or drop dead with heart failure. Does the heart right itself after discontinuing or is this permanent ? I smoke also which doesn't help but have cut down by half and plan to stop when I've recovered from this episode. Could anybody give me any information on the ECG side of things. I'm getting palpitations worrying about it. Thanks in advance smile

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  • Posted

    I know very little about ECG but I do know that drug induced changes generally  reverse.

    Best thing you can do is stop smoking completely ASAP as I do know this too will help and the sooner it is done the better.

    Taz xxx

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  • Posted

    I had no idea citalopram had any adverse affects regarding heart function until your message above.  I've just done a bit of research and found information dating back to 2012 which stated that the safety advice for citalopram and escitalopram was issued to healthcare professionals by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Included in the safety warning were updated recommendations about new maximum daily dose restrictions, as well as warnings and contraindications (which indicate when it is not advisable to prescribe the drug). I am fast approaching the age group where they state the max level prescribed should be no more than 20mg.  This info is obviously not made clear to patients and I have a friend who has had triple bypass surgery and is on a high 40mg dose, whereas the data released states no more than 20mg max for this group.  Amazing how we're kept in the dark about such matters or perhaps are dealing with uninformed GPs, even more frightening.  I couldnt find anything stating that the damage was permanent so the advice given to you seems sounds, although I really do appreciate your concern.
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    • Posted

      Yes we are kept in the dark..40mg can be too much for some people..I am enraged about this ...and Yes cit can be harmful to the heart ...I know someone on 60 mg of. Cit..this is a harmful dose and recognised as such 
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    • Posted

      Where did you get the information on cit and the heart and AGE ..from please ?...I have just withdrawn from 40mg to zero..the first reduction was done slowly over 6 months ( to 20mg) ..the last dose from 20mg to zero was done  over one month ..I'm still not completely right but better of the drugs ..should I have reduced the last 20mg more slowly?..thanks 
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    • Posted

      I just googled citalopram affecting heart health and found an article from the Telegraph from 2012 which detailed the reports following studies and the updated advice that all GP's should have received from the MHRA.  If you've had no major issues reducing so quickly it won't have done you any harm, the biggest problem with reducing too fast is that anxiety and stress return or you get withdrawal symptoms.  I went cold turkey and I had very little problem, I felt so much healthier that cheered me up and made me forget some of my anxiety, I was just so glad to be off the horrid things.
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    • Posted

      Loxie ..so glad to hear you got off these  tabs with no bad effects.been irritable,quite nasty ( I'm ashamed to report ) but I did the initial reduction slowly..been off them now for 8 weeks ..still have bad days ..do they ever go ?

      i will not go back on them 

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    • Posted

      To be honest Pat, I was so unwell while taking them that the relief when I stopped overshadowed how miserable and stressed I'd been before I started taking it.  I am resigned to always being someone with a 'short fuse' and I do get unreasonably upset at little things that probably wouldn't bother others but I'm determined not to just 'pop a pill' again, as in my case it wasn't worth the horrible side effects and ill health they caused.  I'm going to start meditation classes in the New Year and hope that will help calm me down.  I'm always very low in spirits during the darker days of winter, when spring comes around I'll probably cheer up a lot more.  At least I'm able to work and cook, etc., which at one point in the past I couldnt do.  I have very manic times, up and down but have never been diagnosed as manic depressive or bi-polar, the doc just said I was 'stressed'.  I hope the new meds work for Catarratto.
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    • Posted

      You sound just like me lol..I like meditation,also find saunas help..free at mt gym..I too can be manic ...hope you find an outlet for your "short fuse"

      the months of winter are hard to cope with ..can't wait for Spring

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    • Posted

      Hi Loxie. It has taken over 20 years for me to be diagnosed with bipolar. If you're having ups and downs I'd advise you take it further. I have been on anti depressants for many years with limited success. After being re diagnosed I have been told ADs can induce mania / hypomania. All A D s I was on caused vile side effects but now know it was because they weren't treating me correctly. Now I will just be on mood stabilisers only and hopefully I will improve but it has been a very difficult road. If you have ups and downs if left untreated it may deteriorate so dont be fobbed off as I was for years. Hope you feel better soon x
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    • Posted

      I have to reduce from 40 to 20 over 3 weeks, then 20 to 10 over 3 weeks then discontinue. I'm sure how you did it is ok. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments catarratto, I've had a dreadful time with SSRIs, all of which made me very ill, not just the known side effects but horrible stomach issues, severe hair loss, crippling headaches.  My doctor said I was having an allergic reaction.  Happened with citalopram and then with an anti-depressant too, which I think from memory may have been lofepramine - which also made me very spacey and forgetful.  I was given cit as a mood stabiliser and to be honest it did help the moods but the allergic reaction was so severe I just couldn't continue with it.  I'm dreading going back to the GP because I find it so hard to explain how I feel in the 4 mins alotted and then end up with another packet of pills which make me ill again.  I find myself crying just even thinking about having to go see the doctor, which gives me more anxiety than ever.   I'll take your comments to heart though and try to buck up the courage to confront them again.
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  • Posted

    so sorry to hear of your problems..as long as the cit is reduced Slowly..you shoul be ok...go and have it out with your GP and put your mind at rest.stress is not good for the heart either..good luck..sorry I don't know and about Bi polar
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