What is Clozaril? Clozaril, also known as clozapine, is used to control the symptoms associated with schizophrenia, including extreme emotions, thoughts, or feelings. Clozaril is part of a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. Clozaril is most often used for adults who need to augment other antipsychotic medications, when other antipsychotics have failed, or for those who have become suicidal. It may take up to two weeks to feel the full effect of Clozaril, and it is important to continue taking the medication even if you feel well. Clozaril comes in a regular or a quick-dissolve tablet form and is usually taken from one to three times per day. You should not alter the amount of Clozaril you take without speaking to your doctor first, and you should take a consistent dose each day.
Important Information Before Use:
- Clozaril will help control the behavior that accompanies schizophrenia, but it will not cure this condition.
- Clozaril is not recommended for use by older adults with dementia.
- If you have or have ever had heart disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, stroke, or seizures, you should talk to your doctor before you take Clozaril.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever had urinary issues or problems with your prostate.
- You should also mention any serious reactions you have had to other similar medications.
- Clozaril may interact with other medications or supplements, including antihistamines, antidepressants, antibiotics, antifungals, sleeping pills, HIV medications, high blood pressure medications, and more. If you are taking other prescription drugs or supplements, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Clozaril.
Important Information During Use:
- Clozaril can cause blood or heart problems. You will likely be given some lab tests before you begin taking Clozaril and will need to continue to test regularly to be sure you are not being adversely affected by this medication.
- If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Clozaril, you should talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for your condition. Clozaril can cause problems in newborns if taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- Clozaril can make you extremely drowsy; using alcohol with Clozaril can worsen this side effect.
- Your surgeon or anesthesiologist needs to know that you are taking Clozaril if you are having any type of surgery, including oral or dental surgery.
- Smoking or using tobacco products can reduce the effectiveness of this medication.
- Tell your doctor right away if you begin to experience signs of increased blood sugar or diabetes. Clozaril can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis; if you develop any of the signs of this condition, including loss of consciousness, extreme thirst, fruity-smelling breath, nausea, or vomiting, you should tell your doctor right away.
- Clozaril overdose symptoms include confusion, drowsiness, fast heart rate, drooling, shallow breathing, and seizures. If you experience serious or severe side effects from Clozaril, you should call your doctor immediately.
Clozaril Side Effects
- Behavioral changes
- Fever, sweating, or flu symptoms
- Muscle stiffness
- Fever or sweating
- Shaking hands that cannot be controlled
- Vision changes
- Sore throat
- Bleeding or bruising
- Difficulty with urination or loss of bladder control
- Stomach upset, loss of appetite
- Yellowed eyes or skin
- Pain in the upper right portion of the stomach
- Drowsiness, dizziness, or tiredness
- Dry mouth
- Increased saliva
Do not stop taking Clozaril abruptly; see your doctor before reducing or discontinuing this medication. You can reduce Clozaril withdrawal symptoms by slowly tapering off of this medication.
Possible Symptoms of Clozaril Withdrawal:
- Delusions, hallucinations, or other psychotic symptoms
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Last Update: 02-21-2013
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