Loxitane (loxapine) is drug belonging to the typical antipsychotic category. It is commonly prescribed to treat issues related to mood and schizophrenia. It works by blocking the action of dopamine when sections of the dopamine system become overactive. It is a prescription medication, and therefore is not available over the counter.
What Mental Health Conditions Is Loxitane Used to Treat?
Loxitane is used to manage the strong emotions, intrusive thoughts, actions, and apathy that may accompany schizophrenia. While this medication may provide relief from the symptoms of schizophrenia, it is not intended to cure the condition.
If a doctor or psychiatrist prescribes you an antipsychotic medication, GoodTherapy.org recommends pairing your drug treatment with a type of psychotherapy. Prominent research indicates that psychotropic drugs paired with psychotherapy tend to produce the best results when symptoms require the use of medication. Drugs can be great for treating debilitating symptoms, but fail to address emotions, behaviors, and experiences tied to mental health conditions. Finding a qualified counselor or therapist you trust can help you better understand what you are experiencing and help you develop healthy ways to cope when symptoms arise or become triggered.
- How can I take Loxitane safely?
Most people start by taking a low dose of Loxitane, as prescribed by their psychiatrist or doctor. After the first week on this medication, a doctor may increase the amount of Loxitane a person takes each day to achieve the desired level of relief. A daily dosage higher than 250mg is not recommended. This drug is sold in capsule form and is usually taken two to four times per day. You may not notice immediate improvement when you first take this medication as it may take a few weeks to feel the full effects. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen after taking this drug.
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, you should skip the missed dose if you are already close to the time for your next dose of medication. Do not take a double dose of this drug in an attempt to make up for a missed dose. Taking too many capsules too quickly may lead to an overdose.
- What should I do if I overdose?
Get emergency medical assistance or call a poison help line immediately. Seizures, slowed breathing, slowed heartbeat, sleepiness, loss of consciousness, and erratic or uncontrolled body movements are all possible symptoms of overdose of Loxitane.
Important Information to Consider Before Using Loxitane
Let your doctor know if you are allergic to loxapine. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, breaking out in hives, and swelling of the throat, lips, tongue, and face. Seek urgent medical help if you display any allergic reactions to this drug.
Elderly people experiencing signs of dementia should not take Loxitane as it may increase the risk of death. If you have ever been diagnosed with glaucoma, low white blood cell count, seizures, breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or heart disease, you should talk to your doctor before you start to take this drug. You should also mention current or past urinary issues, and any serious reactions you may have had to other similar medications. This drug may interact with other medications, so check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other prescription drugs or supplements.
Tardive dyskinesia, a serious movement condition which may affect the arms, legs, face, eyes, lips, and tongue, may develop from long-term use or high doses of this medication. Women and elderly people are more likely to experience this condition. Tardive dyskinesia may not be reversible.
Important Information to Consider While Using Loxitane
As with most antipsychotic drugs, Loxitane carries with it several significant risk and hazards. Instructions from your doctor and/or pharmacist should include the following important details:
- This drug may cause problems in infants following delivery if it is taken during pregnancy. At present, it is not known if loxapine is able to pass into breast milk, but it is recommended you do not breastfeed if you are taking this medication. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Loxitane, you should talk to your doctor about possible alternative treatments for your condition. Do not stop taking this drug without first consulting your doctor.
- Avoid driving, using heavy machinery or engaging in potentially dangerous activities that require alertness. This medication may inhibit fast reactions and thinking ability.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated or overheated, especially on a hot day or when exercising. This drug may decrease perspiration and increase the possibility of a heat-related injury.
- This medication may cause lightheadedness or fainting when getting up from a sitting position or after lying down. Stand up very slowly to minimize dizziness.
- The exact amount of Loxitane needed each day will vary by individual, so you should only take the amount of medication that has been prescribed by your doctor for you. Take this medication on schedule each day, whether you feel like you need it or not.
- Your surgeon or anesthesiologist needs to know that you are taking Loxitane if you plan to have any type of surgery, including oral surgery.
- Avoid drinking alcohol as it may worsen the side effects of this medication.
Possible Side Effects of Loxitane
If you experience serious or severe side effects from Loxitane, you should call your doctor. Alcoholic beverages may increase the number and severity of this drug’s side effects. Serious side effects may include:
- Irregular or fast heartbeat
- Tightness in throat or neck; difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Mouth or tongue problems, including uncontrollable movements of the mouth, face, or jaw; a tongue that protrudes from the mouth, or unusual tongue movements
- Vision problems, particularly in low or dim lighting
- Neck cramps
- Fever, sweating, or muscle stiffness
Less serious side effects may include:
- Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, faintness, or weakness
- Problems with sleeping, including falling asleep and staying asleep
- Weight gain or loss
- Stomach and digestive system upset, including constipation, nausea, and vomiting
- Dry mouth, increased saliva, and extreme thirst
- Restlessness or agitation
- Drooping eyelids, slurred speech, blank facial expression, or shuffling walk
- Hair loss, rash, or itching
- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Breast enlargement, breast milk production, and missed menstrual periods
- Decreased sexual ability in men
- Difficulty urinating
How to Safely Withdraw from Loxitane
The best way to stop taking Loxitane is to slowly reduce your dose over time, as directed by your doctor. By slowly reducing the amount of the drug you take each day, you can reduce the severity of any withdrawal symptoms you experience. Possible symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Drugs.com. (2014). Loxitane. Retrieved from http://www.drugs.com/mtm/loxitane.html
- Medline Plus. (2011). Loxapine. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682311.html
- Royal College of Psychiatrists. (2014). Antipsychotics. Retrieved from http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/antipsychoticmedication.aspx
- RxList. (2011). Loxitane. Retrieved from http://www.rxlist.com/loxitane-drug.htm
Page content reviewed by James Pendleton, ND
Last Update: 03-16-2015