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- What is asenapine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for asenapine?
- Is asenapine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for asenapine?
- What are the side effects of asenapine?
- What is the dosage for asenapine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with asenapine?
- Is asenapine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about asenapine?
What is asenapine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Asenapine is an atypical antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia. Other atypical antipsychotic drugs include olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), ziprasidone (Geodon), iloperidone (Fanapt) and aripiprazole (Abilify).
Atypical antipsychotics differ from typical antipsychotics because they cause a lesser degree of movement (extrapyramidal) side effects and constipation.
The exact mechanism of action of asenapine is not known, but, like other anti-psychotics, it is believed that asenapine affects the way the brain works by interfering with communication among the brain's nerves. Nerves communicate with each other by making and releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel to other nearby nerves where they attach to receptors on the nerves. The attachment of the neurotransmitters either stimulates or inhibits the function of the nearby nerves. Asenapine blocks several of the receptors on nerves including dopamine type 2, serotonin type 2, and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors.
It is believed that many psychotic illnesses are caused by abnormal communication among nerves in the brain, and that by altering communication through neurotransmitters, asenapine can alter the psychotic state. Asenapine was approved by the FDA in August, 2009.
What brand names are available for asenapine?
Is asenapine available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
Do I need a prescription for asenapine?
What are the side effects of asenapine?
The most common side effects of asenapine are
Other side effects are
- dry mouth,
- feeling restlessness or difficulty sitting still,
- stiffness and shuffling walk,
- tremors, and
- joint pain.
Less common but serious side effects include:
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS is a rare but serious side effects associated with the use of antipsychotics. NMS may result in death and must be treated in the hospital. Signs and symptoms of NMS may include high fever, sweating (diaphoresis), severe muscle stiffness or rigidity, confusion, loss of consciousness, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and changes in your breathing.
- Extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) including:
- Tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD usually occurs after long term use of antipsychotics and usually presents with movement problems affecting the tongue, lips, jaw, face, and extremities.
- Metabolic changes including high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), diabetes mellitus, increase in blood cholesterol, and weight gain.
- High blood levels of prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that allows the production of breast milk. High levels of prolactin may cause menstrual abnormalities, leakage of milk from the breast, development of breasts in men (gynecomastia), and erection problems in men (erectile dysfunction).
Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
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