Prolonged QTc interval and torsades de pointes induced by citalopram

Anand Deshmukh, Kyle Ulveling, Venkata Alla, Hussam Abuissa, Kelly Airey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with a favorable cardiac-safety profile. Corrected QT interval (QTc) prolongation and cardiac arrhythmias have not been previously reported in association with citalopram use except in the presence of overdose, abnormal electrolyte values, or renal or liver failure. Herein, we report the case of a 40-year-old woman with mental depression who presented with a prolonged QTc interval and torsades de pointes after the initiation of citalopram at therapeutic doses. The QTc interval improved when citalopram therapy was discontinued. We recommend that clinicians investigate the family history for sudden deaths and perform baseline electrocardiography before prescribing citalopram. We also recommend routine electrocardiographic testing during citalopram therapy, and that patients with long QT syndrome avoid taking citalopram.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-70
Number of pages3
JournalTexas Heart Institute Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 27 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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