iloperidone (Fanapt)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is iloperidone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Iloperidone is an oral, atypical antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia. Other atypical antipsychotic drugs include

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 iloperidone is not known, but like other anti-psychotics, it is believed that iloperidone 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. iloperidone 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, iloperidone can alter the psychotic state. Iloperidone was approved by the FDA in 2009.

What brand names are available for iloperidone?

Fanapt

Is iloperidone available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for iloperidone?

Yes

What are the side effects of iloperidone?

The most common side effects include

Less common but serious side effects include:

  • Increased risk of stroke in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.
  • 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.

Extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) including:

  • Dystonia: painful spasms of the oral, throat, or neck muscles that may cause problems with speech, swallowing, and stiff neck.
  • Akathisia: feelings of restlessness or difficulty sitting still.
  • Pseudoparkinsonism: drug induced Parkinson's symptoms.
  • 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 males, and erection problems in men.
  • Seizures may occur.
  • Iloperidone causes sedation and slows thinking and movement. Patients should avoid potentially dangerous activities such as driving and operating machinery until they are certain that iloperidone does not impair their ability to perform such tasks.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/6/2015

Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
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