Geodon for Schizophrenia
GEODON for Schizophrenia
What is GEODON for?
GEODON® (ziprasidone HCl) can be used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.
What does GEODON do?
In studies, GEODON significantly improved positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. And, at the end of a 1-year study, patients who took GEODON were shown to have less chance of symptoms returning.
- Hallucinations: things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. “Voices” are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia
- Delusions: false beliefs that are not part of the person’s culture and do not change. The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical
- Thought disorders: unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking. One form of thought disorder is called “disorganized thinking.” This is when a person has trouble organizing his or her thoughts, or connecting them logically
- Movement disorders: may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over
- Flat affect (a person’s face does not move, or he or she talks in a dull or monotonous voice)
- Lack of pleasure in everyday life
- Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
- Speaking little, even when forced to interact
How long does GEODON take to work?
GEODON may take a few weeks to work, so it’s important to be patient and take your medicine as prescribed. Do not change your dose or stop taking your medicine without your doctor's approval.
How might your doctor dose GEODON?
Only your doctor can know if GEODON is right for you. GEODON is available in different doses. Your doctor may adjust your dose based on how you respond. GEODON Capsules are available in 4 strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, and 80 mg.
GEODON Important Safety Information
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss) treated with this type of medicine are at an increased risk of death, compared to placebo (sugar pill). GEODON® (ziprasidone HCl) is not approved for treating these patients.
GEODON ® (ziprasidone HCl) may increase the risk of changes to your heart rhythm. You should not take GEODON if you have certain kinds of heart conditions that change your heart rhythm, a recent heart attack, heart failure, or take certain medicines known to change heart rhythm. It is important to talk to your doctor about this possible side effect. Call your doctor right away if you faint, pass out, or feel a change in your heartbeat.
If you experience a high fever, stiff muscles, shaking, confusion, sweating, or increased heart rate or blood pressure, tell your doctor right away. These can be signs of a rare but potentially fatal condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
Delayed-onset drug reaction called Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) can occur with ziprasidone. Signs of DRESS may include rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Other severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCAR), such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome can occur with ziprasidone. Signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome may include rash with blisters which could include ulcers in mouth, skin shedding, fever, and target-like spots in the skin. SCAR and DRESS are sometimes fatal; therefore call your health care professional(s) and seek immediate care if you develop any of these signs or symptoms.
If you experience abnormal or uncontrollable facial or body movements, notify your doctor. These could be a sign of tardive dyskinesia (TD), a potentially permanent condition whose risk increases with the length of treatment, but which can also occur after brief periods at low doses.
If you have diabetes or have risk factors or symptoms of diabetes, your blood sugar should be monitored. Symptoms include excessive thirst, urination, appetite, and weakness. High blood sugar has been reported with GEODON and medicines like it. In some cases, extreme high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. Increases in cholesterol and weight gain have also been reported with medicines like GEODON.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Breast feeding is not recommended.
If you experience a rash, lightheadedness upon standing, or seizures, tell your doctor. Also tell your doctor if you have thoughts of suicide.
Other risks may include decreases in white blood cells (which can be serious), trouble swallowing, high prolactin levels, and impairment in judgment or motor skills. Until you know how GEODON affects you, you should not drive or operate machinery.
Do not drink alcohol while taking GEODON. Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated. Common side effects of GEODON include:
- Feeling unusually tired or sleepy
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Abnormal muscle movements, including tremor, shuffling, and uncontrolled involuntary movements
- Increased cough/runny nose
In short-term bipolar mania clinical studies, 4.9% of GEODON-treated patients gained significant weight (7% or more of body weight) vs 3.3% for placebo.
In a long-term bipolar maintenance clinical study, patients who tolerated GEODON plus lithium or valproate (Depakote®) for 10-16 weeks were either continued on GEODON or switched to placebo for up to 6 months. During these six months, 5.6% of patients in both groups gained significant weight. These results do not include patients who did not complete the study.
In short-term schizophrenia clinical studies, 10% of GEODON-treated patients gained significant weight vs 4% for placebo.
Since there is no experience regarding the safety of administering GEODON for Injection to schizophrenic patients already taking oral GEODON, the practice of coadministration is not recommended.
GEODON ® (ziprasidone HCl) is a prescription medicine. It is used to treat acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder and to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. GEODON is also used as maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder when added to lithium or valproate (Depakote). For full symptoms and diagnostic criteria, see the
DSM-IV-TR® (2000). GEODON may increase the risk of changes to your heart rhythm. In some cases these types of changes can be fatal though it is unknown whether this is the case with GEODON. It is important to talk to your doctor about this potential side effect, as your doctor may consider a different medicine first.
Patients should always ask their doctors for medical advice about adverse events.
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