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The Celexa injury case attorneys at the Drug Law Center have represented many clients who suffered serious injuries from the antidepressant medication.
Celexa (citalopram) is a prescription medication for the treatment of depression. The SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) medication has been proven to be highly effective because it improves a sense of well-being and heightens energy levels by balancing serotonin levels in the brain.
The History of Celexa
The generic form of Celexa, citalopram, was first developed by scientists in 1972 and approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat major depression. In some cases, doctors will also prescribe the drug to treat numerous other medical conditions. However, these have not yet received approval from the federal agency. Some of these “off-label” uses include treating anxiety disorders like OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and panic disorder. Some doctors prescribe Celexa to treat body dysmorphic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Even though the medication has been proven to be highly effective in treating depression, researchers, scientists, and doctors have serious concerns by using the medicine. This includes the severity of withdrawal symptoms and the increased potential of suicidal ideation (thinking of suicide). Some scientists have specific concerns about potential birth defects in pregnant women and women of childbearing age.
Celexa Side Effects
As an antidepressant medication, Celexa works because it can increase the levels of serotonin in the brain that is essential for signaling between neurons. The imbalance of serotonin can cause drastic mood swings that are difficult to control, if at all.
Like nearly all prescription medications, Celexa (citalopram) has mild side effects that include:
- Upset stomach
- Diarrhea or constipation
- decreased libido (diminished sexual drive)
- Difficulty in achieving an orgasm
- Tiredness and drowsiness
- Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
- Sore throat
- Frequent urination
- Increased sweating
- Weight changes
Some patients experience rare side effects when taking Celexa (citalopram) that include:
- Drunk -like behavior
- Seizures (convulsions)
- Bleeding gums
- Increased hunger
- Difficulty in concentration
- Rapid weight gain
- twitching, shaking or trembling
- Painful urination
- Irregular heartbeat
- Unusual weakness or tiredness
- Swelling of the hands, ankles, or face
- Stupor (near unconsciousness)
- Irritated or reddened eyes
- Poor coordination
- Increased thirst or hunger
- Overactive reflexes
- Irregular or slow heartbeats (50 beats or less per minute)
Who Should Take Celexa?
Patients taking certain medications or experiencing certain conditions should avoid taking Celexa (citalopram) including those taking pimozide commonly used diphenyl butyl piperidine. In addition, patients currently taking MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) within the last two weeks should avoid taking any citalopram medicine.
Suicidal ideation (about suicide) is a common occurrence when taking Celexa (citalopram), especially in younger individuals who are new to taking the antidepressant medication. Because of that, it is important to notice any unexpected change in mood or depression symptoms and immediately report them if they become worse or uncontrolled. These conditions include:
- A change in behavior or mood
- Bouts of anxiety
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Panic attacks
- Aggressive behavior
- Physical or mental hyperactivity
- Deep depression
- Thoughts of hurting yourself
Patients who are 18 years or younger should never take Celexa (citalopram) that have not been prescribed for them by their doctor. Celexa (citalopram) has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the use in children.
Additionally, breastfeeding mothers should avoid either taking Celexa (citalopram) or stop breastfeeding while on the medication. This is because the medication can easily pass into the mother’s breast milk and cause significant harm to the nursing newborn.
Individuals with a known allergic reaction to Celexa (citalopram) or Lexapro (escitalopram) should avoid taking the medication before the patient takes the prescription medication, they should discuss with their doctor any aspect of their medical health that could be contradicted to the medication that could cause severe side effects. These conditions could include:
- Kidney or liver disease
- Bleeding disorder
- Blood clot disorder
- Any history of epilepsy or seizures
- Narrow angle glaucoma
- Manic depression (bipolar disorder)
- Electrolyte imbalances including low levels of blood-related magnesium or potassium
- History of Long QT syndrome
- Previous heart attacks
- History of heart failure, heart disease, slow heartbeat, or heart rhythm disorder
Many medications, including the antidepressant Celexa, have serious withdrawal problems that patients often experience once the medication has been stopped suddenly. When the body withdraws too quickly from the medication, can cause severe side effects that include agitation, nausea, tremors, confusion, dizziness, anxiety, rapid mood swings, palpitations, vision problems, and irritability.
Celexa (citalopram) vs. Lexapro (escitalopram)
Doctors often interchange the use of Celexa (citalopram) with Lexapro (escitalopram) when writing prescriptions for individuals in need of an antidepressant medication. Both are SSRIs that balance serotonin levels in the brain as a treatment for many of the symptoms caused by depression. However, there are some differences between the two medications. Even though the Food and Drug Administration approved Lexapro for use in patients 12 years and older, Celexa can only be used by patients over the age of 17.
Additionally, Lexapro is used as an effective treatment for both depression and anxiety disorder while Celexa has been approved to treat only depression. Dosages of both products used for short-term and long-term treatments vary by patient requirements. Celexa is available in 10 milligrams, 20 milligrams, and 40 milligram tablets and in a 2 MG/ML solution. However, Lexapro is available in five milligrams, 10 milligrams and 20 milligram tablets and a 1 MG/ML solution.
Both medications tend to have the same type of common side effects stopping either medication suddenly can cause significant withdrawal symptoms that include:
In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning concerning Celexa in regard to the dosage levels that people were taking of the antidepressant drug. The FDA warned doctors and consumers that the dosage should never exceed 40 milligrams every day. This is because higher doses were known to cause abnormal changes in the patient’s hard activity. The FDA also stated that high doses could also cause death.
A part of the new warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration also stated that individuals currently taking pimozide or being treated with methylene blue injections should avoid taking Celexa (citalopram) at any dose.
Plaintiffs across the United States are filing Celexa lawsuits to hold Force Laboratory financially and morally responsible for the serious adverse reactions and severe side effects their products have caused unsuspecting consumers.
- A Dozen Mothers File Lexapro Birth Defect Lawsuits Seeking Financial Compensation
August 2015 – A dozen mothers have filed Celexa and Lexapro lawsuits against Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc. by mothers whose children suffered serious birth defects. The plaintiffs are claiming that the Celexa congenital heart defects and other injuries were the direct results of taking the medication while pregnant. The plaintiffs are claiming that the drug maker was aware, or should have been aware, of the published studies about their medication before and after it was marketed to consumers.
Lawsuit documents reveal that Forest Pharmaceuticals maintain control when developing, testing and marketing both Celexa and Lexapro, to SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) medications that have been approved by the FDA. Research indicates that the medication had a direct correlation to birth defects, and yet the pharmaceutical giant continued to market the medication to women in their childbearing years and to those women who were already pregnant.
- $10 Million Settlement Ends Class Action Pediatric Celexa MDL Case
New York, NY (March 2014) – A class action lawsuit filed in New York has finally been settled for an amount between $7.7 million and $10.4 million against Forest Pharmaceuticals and Forest Laboratories in regards to their popular antidepressant medication. Settlement documents indicate that the companies manufactured and promoted the illegal use of both Lexapro and Celexa in children.
Lawsuit documents revealed that the plaintiffs have alleged that the antidepressants being sold by the company were “no more effective clinically than a sugar pill. The clinical trials show that any perceived benefit pediatric patients receive from taking Celexa or Lexapro in treating their depression is primarily explained by the placebo effect – the perceived efficacy of the drug based on one’s belief that the drug works.”
Multiple suits have been filed against Forest Pharmaceuticals and Forest laboratories in Missouri Illinois, and New York and ultimately consolidated into MDL (multidistrict litigation) cases. This is not the first time that Forest has been involved in recent legal action. The United States Justice Department alleged in 2009, that Forest Laboratories had bribed physicians to ensure they prescribe the dangerous drug to pediatric patients even though the US Food and Drug administration had not approved the drugs for pediatric use.
The Department of Justice also alleged that according to the complaints by consumers, patients already taking the medication have a higher percentage of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide compared to those that were taking the placebo. At the conclusion of the settlement reached in US District Judge Gordon’s courtroom, the drug maker denied “material factual allegations and legal claims” and was settling the class-action lawsuits because litigation “would be protracted and expensive.”
Many Celexa lawsuits have been filed against the drug maker Forest Laboratory because of the significant adverse reaction and severe side effects caused by the popular antidepressant drug. Many of the plaintiffs in these cases are claiming that the drug manufacturer failed to provide adequate warning to consumers about the known potential risk of suicidal thoughts, autism in children, and birth defects. However, these cases are extremely complex and often require the skills of a competent personal injury attorney who specializes in product liability cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and medical malpractice compensation claims.
Let Us Handle Your Celexa Lawsuit
Demanding compensation from a large pharmaceutical company after suffering injury caused by defective medicine is often complicated. The Celexa injury case attorneys at the Drug Law Center believe that obtaining satisfaction requires building a solid case in standing up to fight aggressively against every drug maker selling defective medicines. Our lawyers will do everything possible on your behalf to streamline the compensation process and handle every aspect of your Celexa lawsuit to ensure your family receives the monetary compensation they deserve.
Your family should not be made to suffer because the pharmaceutical company was negligent in the design, marketing, and promotion of their defective medication. We have helped many individuals suffering drug-related injuries and families who have lost a loved one through a wrongful death. Contact us today so we can begin the process of obtaining your compensation through a complimentary, case evaluation. We are currently accepting all Celexa lawsuits on contingency and are postponing payment of our legal services until after we have won your case to trial or successfully negotiated an out of court settlement on your behalf.