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Geodon (Ziprasidone)

Geodon, also known as ziprasidone, is an atypical antipsychotics medication used to control the extreme emotions, thoughts, or feelings that can accompany schizophrenia. This medication can help control the behavior that accompanies schizophrenia or bipolar, but it will not cure these conditions. This drug is also used to treat people who are in the manic phase of bipolar.

Dosage

Geodon comes in a capsule and is usually taken twice per day with food. It is important to continue taking the medication as prescribed. The amount of medication taken should not be altered without first speaking to a doctor.

Important Information Before Use

Geodon 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 this drug. You should also let your doctor know if you or anyone in your family has or has had diabetes. If you have ever been addicted to street drugs or a prescription medication, let your doctor know before you begin taking Geodon. You should also mention to your doctor any serious reactions you have had to other similar medications.

 

Geodon may interact with many 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 this drug.

Important Information During Use

  • If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Geodon, you should talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for your condition. Geodon can cause problems in newborns if taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
  • Geodon can make you extremely drowsy; using alcohol with Geodon can worsen this side effect.
  • You should drink plenty of water when taking Geodon.
  • Grapefruit or grapefruit juice can reduce the effectiveness of this medication.
  • Geodon can make you very dizzy, particularly when you first stand up from a seated position or after lying down. Stand up slowly to avoid this effect.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you begin to experience signs of increased blood sugar or diabetes. Geodon 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.
  • Overdose symptoms include irregular heartbeat, drowsiness, unusual body movements, and slurred speech.

Side Effects

If you experience serious or severe side effects from Geodon, you should call your doctor immediately. Serious side effects may include:

  • Confusion
  • Signs of ketoacidosis, including loss of consciousness, extreme thirst, fruity-smelling breath, nausea, and vomiting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever or sweating
  • Facial or body movements that cannot be controlled
  • Hives or a rash
  • Painful erection lasting for hours

Less serious side effects can include:

  • Drowsiness, dizziness, or tiredness
  • Restlessness or anxiety
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Sneezing or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle aches or pains

Withdrawing

Talk to your doctor before you stop taking Geodon; you should not stop taking this medication abruptly. You can reduce withdrawal symptoms by slowly tapering off of this medication. Possible symptoms of withdrawal may include insomnia, return of psychotic symptoms, or return of bipolar symptoms.

 

References:

  1. Geodon (ziprasidone). (2013, January). Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Geodon_%28ziprasidone%29.htm

Page content reviewed by James Pendleton, ND

 

Last Update: 12-22-2014

 
   

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