Ziprasidone (zih-PRASS-ih-doan) is used to treat schizophrenia. It is also used for the short-term treatment of mania associated with bipolar disorder.
How to take
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: hives, rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Symptoms of overdose may include drowsiness, feeling light-headed, slurring of speech, irregular or unusually fast heartbeat, fainting, or restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck. If you suspect an overdose of Ziprasidone, seek medical attention immediately.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.
Before taking Ziprasidone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: heart problems (e.g., QTc prolongation, arrhythmias, recent heart attack, heart failure). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems, mineral imbalance (e.g., hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia), strokes (cerebrovascular disease), history of low blood pressure (e.g., dehydration, hypovolemia), seizures, swallowing difficulty, Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer, diabetes (or family history), obesity. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, especially the drowsiness and blood pressure-lowering effects.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., electrolytes, fasting blood sugar-FBS, weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels) should be performed to monitor your progress.
While you are taking Ziprasidone, you may be more sensitive to temperature extremes such as very hot or cold conditions. Avoid getting too cold, or becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking Ziprasidone.
Stop taking Ziprasidone and call your doctor right away if you feel dizzy or light-headed, have a fast or pounding heartbeat, or if you faint. This could be signs of a serious heart rhythm problem. Ziprasidone is not for use in psychotic conditions that are related to dementia. Ziprasidone has caused fatal heart attack and pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
Ziprasidone may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Talk to your doctor if you have any signs of hyperglycemia such as increased thirst or urination, excessive hunger, or weakness. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking Ziprasidone.
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: a diuretic (water pill), blood pressure medicine, or heart rhythm medicine; carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol); cisapride (Propulsid); haloperidol (Haldol); narcotic pain medication; medicines used to treat Parkinson's Disease such as levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa, Sinemet, Atamet, others); or antibiotics such as azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), dirithromycin (Dynabac), erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, Ery-Tab), ketoconazole (Nizoral), telithromycin (Ketek); 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. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
Ziprasidone should never be taken together with any of the following drugs, or a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder could occur:
arsenic trioxide (Trisenox); dolasetron (Anzemet); droperidol (Inapsine); halofantrine (Halfan); mefloquine (Lariam);
levomethadyl acetate (no longer available in the U.S.); tacrolimus (Prograf); antibiotics such as gatifloxacin (Tequin), pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam), moxifloxacin (Avelox), sparfloxacin (Zagam), telithromycin (Ketek); heart rhythm medicine such as dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinaglute), or sotalol (Betapace); or medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Ziprasidone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
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.