To the Editor: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed for patients with cardiovascular disease, including those taking perhexiline for severe ischaemic heart disease. Elevated serum perhexiline concentrations have been observed during therapy with the SSRIs fluoxetine and paroxetine, which are known to be strong inhibitors of cytochrome P450 2D6, the enzyme system responsible for the hepatic metabolism of perhexiline.1 The Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee has received five reports of a possible interaction between perhexiline and SSRIs, but none of these involved the SSRIs citalopram or fluvoxamine, which are generally considered to be weak inhibitors of cytochrome P450 2D6. I describe here a case of perhexiline toxicity that occurred within 10 days of starting citalopram therapy.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.