ZIPRASIDONE (Geodon®) treats the symptoms of schizophrenia. Such symptoms may include hearing or seeing things that others do not, suspiciousness of others, mistaken beliefs, or withdrawal from normal activities, family and friends. This drug may also help treat some other emotional problems, such as bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression). Generic ziprasidone capsules are not yet available.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions: • frequently drink alcohol or alcohol-containing beverages • diabetes or high blood sugar • difficulty swallowing • history of breast cancer • heart disease, including heart failure • history of head injury • previous heart attack or stroke • irregular heartbeat • liver disease • low blood pressure • low potassium level in the blood • Parkinson's disease • seizures (convulsions) • tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable movement disorder) • thoughts of suicide • an unusual or allergic reaction to ziprasidone, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives • pregnant or trying to get pregnant • breast-feeding
How should I take this medicine?
Take ziprasidone capsules by mouth with food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the capsules with a drink of water and take each dose with food. Take your doses at regular intervals, usually at the same times each day. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with ziprasidone?
Do not take ziprasidone with any of the following medications: • certain antibiotics (clarithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, grepafloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, telithromycin, troleandomycin) • certain antidepressants (check with your health care professional) • arsenic trioxide • astemizole • bepridil • chlorpromazine • cisapride • daunorubicin • diltiazem • dolasetron • doxorubicin • droperidol • halofantrine • haloperidol • halothane • levomethadyl • mesoridazine • octreotide • pentamidine • pimozide • probucol • risperidone • some medicines for treating heart-rhythm problems (examples: amiodarone, dofetilide, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol) • tacrolimus • terfenadine • thioridazine • verapamil
Ziprasidone may also interact with the following medications: • alcohol • bromocriptine • cabergoline • carbamazepine • cimetidine • cocaine • danazol • dronabinol • medicines for anxiety, depression or difficulty sleeping • medicines for diabetes • medicines for fungal infections (fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole) • medicines for Parkinson's disease • other medicines for treating thought disorders such as schizophrenia • phenobarbital • phenytoin • prescription medicines for muscle relaxation or pain • primidone • quinine • rifabutin • rifampin • some medications for high blood pressure • some medicines for HIV infection • some medicines for infertility • some medicines for the hormonal treatment of cancer • stimulants (amphetamine, dextroamphetamine) • troglitazone • water pills (diuretics)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking ziprasidone?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible: Because the following side effects could mean you are having a heart rhythm problem, contact your prescriber immediately for: • chest pain • fast or irregular heartbeat or palpitations • difficulty breathing • fainting or falling spells Other side effects to report to your prescriber as soon as possible for: • change in emotion or behavior such as feeling depressed, angry, or anxious • difficulty swallowing • fever • inability to control muscle movements in the face, hands, arms, or legs • increased thirst or hunger • increased need to pass urine • loss of balance or difficulty walking • menstrual changes • prolonged erection • seizures • skin rash or hives • stiff muscles or jaw • tremor • uncontrollable movements or spasms of the face, tongue or mouth • weakness or loss of strength
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome): Less common or rare: • breast enlargement (men or women) • breast milk in women who are not breast-feeding • changes in sexual desire or ability • diarrhea • dry mouth • increased sensitivity to the sun • intolerance to heat or cold • restlessness or need to keep moving • stuffy or runny nose More Common: • constipation • mild dizziness; especially on standing from a sitting or lying position • drowsiness • headache • nausea or vomiting • upset stomach
What should I watch for while taking ziprasidone?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It may be several weeks before you see the full effects of ziprasidone. Do not suddenly stop taking ziprasidone. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the dose. Only stop taking ziprasidone on your prescriber's advice.
You may get dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how ziprasidone affects you. Alcohol can increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
If you notice an increased thirst or hunger, different from your normal hunger or thirst, or if you find that you must frequently use the restroom (excessive urination), you should contact your health care provider as soon as possible. You may need to have your blood sugar monitored.
Ziprasidone may cause your skin to become more sensitive to the sun or ultraviolet light. If this reaction occurs, it can cause a severe sunburn and damage the skin. Keep out of the sun, or wear protective clothing outdoors and use a sunscreen (at least SPF 15). Do not use sun lamps or sun tanning beds or booths. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Ziprasidone can change the response of your body to heat or cold. Try not to get overheated. Avoid temperature extremes, such as saunas, hot tubs, or very hot or cold baths or showers. Dress warmly in cold weather.
If you experience dry mouth while taking ziprasidone, make sure to drink plenty of water. It may also be helpful to suck on sugarless hard candy or crushed ice. If your dry mouth is severe, ask your doctor about a saliva substitute.
If you are going to have surgery tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking ziprasidone.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 degrees and 30 degrees C (59 degrees and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.