It doesn’t happen often. But every now and then the FDA recommends supplement use. And it always gives me a smile. “Aw! Look who suddenly DOES NOT have a problem with supplements!”
Recently, the agency recommended magnesium and potassium supplements. But there’s a catch. It’s a very narrow recommendation. And the agency buried it in a warning about an SSRI antidepressant called Celexa.
Celexa isn’t quite a household name like Prozac. But patients filled more than 30 million prescriptions last year. So plenty of people are taking this stuff.
According to the FDA warning, higher Celexa doses “can cause dangerous abnormalities in the electrical activity of the heart.” These abnormalities increase risk of irregular heart rhythms, which can be fatal.
This problem is most risky in patients with potassium and magnesium deficiencies. And that’s where the FDA recommends supplements to increase levels before starting the drug.
But the FDA missed a key detail. Deficiency of either potassium or magnesium can cause –- yep! — depression.
Good call, FDA! Depressed patients with these deficiencies should boost their levels. Absolutely!
As for the potentially dangerous drug…let’s hold off on that.
“FDA: Celexa dosing and heart warning” UPI, 3/30/12, upi.com