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Dr. Nina Lim
Dr. Nina Lim, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3840
Experience:  Internal Medicine Physician
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I've had a chest infection and a fever for 5 days now. Went

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I've had a chest infection and a fever for 5 days now. Went to the doctor today and he prescribed me clarithromycin. I am also on citalopram. With some people it causes a drug interaction and speeds up the heart or heart palpitations. I was just about to eat dinner and walking across the floor I suddenly felt very unwell with pressure in my chest. Of course got instant anxiety. I've been sitting since because I'm afraid to walk around. I am in the process of investigating since early last autumn 4 heart palpitations
JA: How long have you been using Citalopram? Has it helped at all?
Customer: It's very vague weather citalopram helps or not but I have brought my dosage down to 10 mg on my own advice. I was in a situation about 7 years ago and when I left the hospital they just gave me a script for it. I've never seen a psychiatrist or a psychologist about it. I've been weaning it down for a year or so now
JA: Have you used anything besides Citalopram for this?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: You never commented on the lung infection that I have and the fever. I'm concerned about the drug interaction between clarithromycin and citalopram with my lungs so full of green mucus right now. My body is already really stressed. I have scar tissue in my pancreatic duct if it's relevant or not I don't know.

Hello, my name is***** board certified MD.

I am sorry that you are having symptoms.

You are correct in your suspicions. There is, in fact, a rare yet serious potential interaction that can occur between citalopram and clarithromycin. Symptoms include irregular heart rates, palpitations, shortness of breath etc.

As I mentioned, this is rare. But in people who may have predisposing conditions (such as electrolyte abnormalities caused by illness and inadequate intake), it is certainly possible.

Your best option is to ask your doctor for a different antibiotic. For your symptoms that seem to be consistent with bronchitis, doxycycline would be an acceptable choice.

And at some point, you may also want to completely stop taking the citalopram if you feel like you no longer need to take it. Since you are on the lowest dose of the medication, you can just take it every other day for a couple of weeks and then stop it.
But of course, make sure to discuss any medication changes with your doctor so he/ she is aware.

I am available to answer any follow up questions that you may have so please feel free to ask.
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