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GENERIC NAME: ziprasidone
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM
Ziprasidone is an oral and injectable drug that is used for treating psychoses, for example, schizophrenia. Although the mechanism of action of ziprasidone is not known, like other anti-psychotics, it inhibits communication between nerves of the brain. It does this by blocking receptors on the nerves for several neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other. It is thought that the beneficial effect of ziprasidone is due to its blocking of dopamine and serotonin receptors. It also inhibits the re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine by nerves in the brain like some anti-depressant drugs. Ziprasidone is associated with little or no weight gain, a feature that distinguishes it from other anti-psychotic drugs. Similarly, ziprasidone is unique among anti-psychotic drugs in that it does not increase cholesterol levels. The FDA approved ziprasidone as a treatment for schizophrenia in February 2001.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: no
Ziprasidone is available as capsules of 20 mg (blue/white), 40 mg (blue/blue), 60 mg (white/white) and 80 mg (blue/white). The injectable form is available in vials containing 20 mg of lyophilized ziprasidone that must be reconstituted with 1.2 ml of sterile water before injection.
Ziprasidone is used to treat severe mental disorders like schizophrenia, which are characterized by distorted thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. Ziprasidone helps manage schizophrenia's "positive symptoms," (visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions) and may also help in treating the "negative symptoms" of schizophrenia (social withdrawal, apathy, lack of motivation, and an inability to experience pleasure). Ziprasidone also is used to treat acute bipolar mania (manic and mixed episodes) and, in combination with lithium (Lithobid) or valproate (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor), for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.
Ziprasidone usually is taken twice a day. The usual starting dose is 20 mg twice daily. The dose may be increased over time to achieve the desired effect. Ziprasidone should be taken with food (for example, shortly after a meal) since when taken on an empty stomach, much less ziprasidone is absorbed.
Other drugs besides ziprasidone which may affect the heart rhythm (QTc prolongation in the EKG) include dofetilide, pimozide, quinidine, sotalol, procainamide, and sparfloxacin among others. QTc prolongation can infrequently result in serious, rarely fatal, irregular heartbeats. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details. Ask for instructions about whether you need to stop any other QTc-prolonging drugs you may be using in order to minimize the risk of this effect. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially of: anti-Parkinson drugs (e.g., pramipexole, ropinirole), azole antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole), certain blood pressure medications (e.g., beta-blockers such as metoprolol or propranolol, "water pills" or diuretics such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide, or alpha-blockers such as doxazosin or prazosin). Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take drugs that cause drowsiness, including: anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), other psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine, or tricyclics such as amitriptyline), tranquilizers. Check the labels on all your medicine (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of these products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
Ziprasidone is used to treat schizophrenia.
HOW TO USE
A manufacturer's Patient Information Leaflet about this medication should be dispensed with your prescription. Read the information carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have. Take this medication by mouth usually twice daily with food; or take as directed by your doctor. Do not take this medication more often or increase your dose without consulting your doctor. Your condition will not improve any faster and the risk of serious side effects may be increased. Do not stop taking this drug without your doctor's approval.
Drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, or constipation may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle stiffness, muscle spasms or twitching, weight gain, unusual increase or decrease in amount of urine, unusual increase in thirst, change in vision. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: fainting, irregular or unusually fast heartbeat (especially with fever and increased sweating), seizures, trouble swallowing, uncontrolled movements (especially of the face or tongue). Males: In the unlikely event you experience a painful or prolonged erection, seek immediate medical attention as this is considered a medical emergency. This medication may in rare instances increase your blood level of a certain hormone (prolactin). In females, this rare increase in prolactin levels may result in unwanted breast milk production, stopping of your menstrual period, or difficulty in becoming pregnant. In males, this rare effect may result in decreased sexual ability, inability to produce sperm, or enlarged breasts. If you develop any of these symptoms, tell your doctor immediately. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include slurring of speech, irregular or unusually fast heartbeat, or fainting.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Note : This product information is intended only for residents of the India. Taj Pharmaceuticals Limited, medicines help to treat and prevent a range of conditions—from the most common to the most challenging—for people around the world.