Ziprasidone is a medication belonging to the class of atypical antipsychotics, which is used to alleviate symptoms associated with schizophrenia. This mental illness can cause an individual to experience abnormal thinking, loss of interest in life, and intense or inappropriate emotions.
Ziprasidone is also used to treat manic episodes- characterized by an abnormally excited or irritated mood, or mixed episodes that involve both symptoms of mania and depression -in patients with bipolar disorder. By modifying the activity of certain natural substances in the brain, ziprasidone is able to mitigate the symptoms of these psychiatric conditions.
Uses and Dosage
Ziprasidone comes as a capsule to take by mouth. Typically it is taken twice a day with food, at the same time every day. Strictly adhere to the directions mentioned on the prescription label and seek clarification from your pharmacist or doctor if needed. Take ziprasidone precisely as directed. Do not alter the dosage, take it more frequently or consume more or less of it than prescribed by your doctor.
The dosage of ziprasidone may be initiated at a low level and gradually increased by your doctor.
While ziprasidone can aid in controlling your symptoms, it cannot provide a complete cure for your condition. It may take several weeks or more to experience the full benefits of this medication. Even if you begin feeling better, continue to take ziprasidone without interruption and do not cease consumption without consulting your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- muscle pain
- stomach pain
- runny nose
- weight gain
- breast enlargement or discharge
- late or missed menstrual period
- decreased sexual ability
- dizziness, feeling unsteady, or having trouble keeping your balance
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- unusual movements of your face or body that you cannot control
- fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- rash or hives
- blisters or peeling of skin
- mouth sores
- swollen glands
- muscle stiffness
- loss of consciousness
- painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours
Before taking ziprasidone, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions or other issues.
Prior to using this medication, discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have dementia, seizures, low white blood cell count, difficulty swallowing, heart disease, diabetes (including family history), obesity, or breathing trouble during sleep (sleep apnea).
Ziprasidone has the potential to cause QT prolongation, a condition that affects the heart rhythm. QT prolongation can rarely lead to serious (occasionally fatal) fast or irregular heartbeat and other symptoms such as severe dizziness and fainting that require immediate medical attention.
Your risk of QT prolongation may increase if you have low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood. This risk may also increase if you use certain medications (such as diuretics) or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Consult your doctor on how to safely use ziprasidone.
This medication can make you feel dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana can increase your dizziness or drowsiness. Refrain from driving, using machinery, or doing any activities that require alertness until you can do them safely.
This medication may cause you to sweat less, increasing your risk of heat stroke. Avoid activities that may cause you to overheat, such as strenuous work or exercise in hot weather, or using hot tubs. When the weather is hot, drink plenty of fluids and wear light clothing. If you overheat, quickly find a place to cool down and rest. Seek medical assistance immediately if you have a persistent fever, changes in mental/mood, headaches, or dizziness.
Elderly individuals may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, uncontrolled movements, and QT prolongation. Drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, use this medication only if necessary. Babies born to mothers who have taken this medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely experience symptoms such as muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you observe any of these symptoms in your newborn, especially during the first month, inform your doctor immediately.
Since untreated mental/mood problems can be a serious condition, do not discontinue this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning a pregnancy, become pregnant, or believe you may be pregnant, immediately consult your doctor to discuss the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended.
Form and Strength
Geodon is available in the following forms and strengths:
How long does it take for your body to adjust to Geodon?
You can start to feel better within 1-2 weeks but it can take up to 6 weeks to feel the full benefit of this medication.
How do I know if Geodon is working?
When Geodon is working well, you may notice that your thoughts are clearer and more organized. Agitation may be decreased and hearing voices or seeing things no one else sees (hallucinations) may stop completely or happen much less.