Drugs A - Z

Ziprasidone Hydrochloride Oral capsule

It is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression.

Generic Name: ziprasidone

Brand Names: Geodon

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 02/22/2011] ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Pregnancy section of drug labels for the entire class of antipsychotic drugs has been updated. The new drug labels now contain more and consistent information about the potential risk for abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal signs or EPS) and withdrawal symptoms in newborns whose mothers were treated with these drugs during the third trimester of pregnancy.

The symptoms of EPS and withdrawal in newborns may include agitation, abnormally increased or decreased muscle tone, tremor, sleepiness, severe difficulty breathing, and difficulty in feeding. In some newborns, the symptoms subside within hours or days and do not require specific treatment; other newborns may require longer hospital stays.

BACKGROUND: Antipsychotic drugs are used to treat symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

RECOMMENDATION: Healthcare professionals should be aware of the effects of antipsychotic medications on newborns when the medications are used during pregnancy. Patients should not stop taking these medications if they become pregnant without talking to their healthcare professional, as abruptly stopping antipsychotic medications can cause significant complications for treatment. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

What is this medicine?

ZIPRASIDONE (zi PRAY si done) is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • dementia
  • diabetes or high blood sugar
  • heart disease, including heart failure
  • irregular heartbeat
  • liver disease
  • low potassium level in the blood
  • Parkinson's disease or other movement disorders
  • previous heart attack or stroke
  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt by you or a family member
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to ziprasidone, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician 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 may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • alfuzosin
  • arsenic trioxide
  • certain antidepressants
  • certain macrolide antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin, and troleandomycin
  • certain quinolone antibiotics like gatifloxacin, grepafloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, and sparfloxacin
  • chloroquine
  • cisapride
  • clozapine
  • dolasetron
  • droperidol
  • halofantrine
  • haloperidol
  • levomethadyl
  • medicines for treating heart-rhythm problems like amiodarone, dofetilide, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, and sotalol
  • methadone
  • palonosetron
  • pentamidine
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine and thioridazine
  • pimozide
  • probucol
  • propafenone
  • risperidone
  • sertindole
  • tacrolimus
  • vardenafil

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • carbamazepine
  • diuretics
  • medicines for fungal infections like fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole
  • medicines for Parkinson's disease
  • some medications for high blood pressure
  • stimulants like amphetamine, dextroamphetamine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It may be several weeks before you see the full effects of this medicine. Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the dose.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

This medicine can reduce the response of your body to heat or cold. Dress warm in cold weather and stay hydrated in hot weather. If possible, avoid extreme temperatures like saunas, hot tubs, very hot or cold showers, or activities that can cause dehydration such as vigorous exercise.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.


Last Updated: May 07, 2013
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