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Ziprasidone

Ziprasidone

Description

Ziprasidone (marketed as Geodon, Zeldox) was the fifth atypical antipsychotic to gain FDA approval (February 2001). Ziprasidone is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, and the intramuscular injection form of ziprasidone is approved for acute agitation in schizophrenic patients. Ziprasidone has also received approval for acute treatment of mania associated with bipolar disorder.

What is ziprasidone?

Ziprasidone is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.

Ziprasidone is used to treat schizophrenia and the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.

Ziprasidone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Ziprasidone is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). It is also used to treat episodes of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited or irritated mood) or mixed episodes (symptoms of mania and depression that happen together) in patients with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods). Ziprasidone is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.

How should this medicine be used?

Ziprasidone comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day with food. Take ziprasidone at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ziprasidone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of ziprasidone and gradually increase your dose.

Ziprasidone may help control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. It may take a few weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of ziprasidone. Continue to take ziprasidone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking ziprasidone without talking to your doctor.

Proper Use

  • Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor even if you feel well. Do not take more of it and do not take it more often than your doctor ordered.
  • This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not split, crush, or chew it.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

This medicine can cause changes in the heart rhythm, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause fainting or serious side effects. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.

Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).

If you develop a skin rash, hives, or any allergic reaction to this medicine, check with your doctor as soon as possible.

Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, cough, sore throat, swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin, or yellow skin or eyes while using this medicine. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS).

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