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All about: Geodon

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Generic Name: ziprasidone (zi PRAY si done)
Brand Names: Geodon

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).

Ziprasidone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about ziprasidone?

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.

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 can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of ziprasidone. There are many other medicines that can cause serious medical problems if you take them together 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. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ziprasidone?

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. Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ziprasidone, or if you have:
  • a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome";

  • history of recent heart attack; or

  • uncontrolled or untreated heart failure.

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).

Before taking ziprasidone, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • a history of heart attack or stroke;

  • low blood levels of potassium or magnesium;

  • diabetes (ziprasidone may raise your blood sugar);

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • a history of suicidal thoughts;

  • Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's;

  • trouble swallowing;

  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use ziprasidone, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

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.

The ziprasidone orally disintegrating tablet may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of ziprasidone if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether ziprasidone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

How should I take ziprasidone?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Take this medicine with food.

It is important to take ziprasidone regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

It may take several weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve. Store ziprasidone at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical treatment if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a ziprasidone overdose may include drowsiness, problems with speech, dizziness, feeling light-headed, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat, or restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck.

What should I avoid while taking ziprasidone?

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. Ziprasidone can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by ziprasidone.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of ziprasidone.

Ziprasidone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using ziprasidone and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • dizziness, feeling light-headed, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;

  • fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;

  • tremor (uncontrolled shaking), restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;

  • agitation, hostility, confusion;

  • increased thirst or urination, weakness, extreme hunger; or

  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer.

Keep taking ziprasidone and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • mild skin rash;

  • anxiety, headache, depressed mood;

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • muscle pain or twitching;

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat; or

  • weight gain.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect ziprasidone?

Before taking ziprasidone, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • 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), or telithromycin (Ketek).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use ziprasidone, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about ziprasidone written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Ziprasidone is available with a prescription under the brand name Geodon. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Geodon 20 mg--blue/white capsules

  • Geodon 40 mg--blue/blue capsules

  • Geodon 60 mg--white/white capsules

  • Geodon 80 mg--blue/white capsules

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.02. Revision Date: 05/11/2007 11:24:53 AM.

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