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- What is ziprasidone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for ziprasidone?
- Is ziprasidone available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for ziprasidone?
- What are the side effects of ziprasidone?
- What is the dosage for ziprasidone?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with ziprasidone?
- Is ziprasidone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about ziprasidone?
What is ziprasidone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Ziprasidone is an oral and injectable drug that is used for treating psychoses, for example, schizophrenia. Although the mechanism of action of ziprasidone is not known, like other anti-psychotics, it inhibits communication between nerves of the brain. It does this by blocking receptors on the nerves for several neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other. It is thought that the beneficial effect of ziprasidone is due to its blocking of dopamine and serotonin receptors. It also inhibits the re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine by nerves in the brain like some anti-depressant drugs. Ziprasidone is associated with little or no weight gain, a feature that distinguishes it from other anti-psychotic drugs. Similarly, ziprasidone is unique among anti-psychotic drugs in that it does not increase cholesterol levels. The FDA approved ziprasidone as a treatment for schizophrenia in February 2001.
What brand names are available for ziprasidone?
Is ziprasidone available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: no
Do I need a prescription for ziprasidone?
What are the side effects of ziprasidone?
Some of the most common side effects associated with ziprasidone are:
- feeling unusually tired (1 in 7 patients),
- nausea (1 in 10),
- constipation (1 in 11),
- dizziness (1 in 12),
- restlessness (1 in 12), diarrhea (1 in 20), and
- rash (1 in 20).
Ziprasidone may cause a a condition consisting of abnormal muscle movements, including tremor, shuffling, and uncontrollable movements (1 in 20 patients).
There is a slight risk (1 in 1500 patients) that ziprasidone by itself could significantly increase the QT interval. There is an even smaller risk (1 in 4000 patients) that it could cause a potentially serious change in the rhythm of the heart.
Ziprasidone frequently causes tiredness (1 in 7 patients). Therefore, care should be exercised in any activity requiring mental alertness, such as operating a motor vehicle (including automobiles) or operating hazardous machinery. Less common side effects include seizures (1 in 250 patients).
As with other antipsychotics, long-term use of ziprasidone may lead to a potentially irreversible condition called tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the jaw, lips, and tongue).
A potentially fatal complex referred to as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) has been reported with other anti-psychotic drugs. Patients who develop NMS may have high fevers, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, irregular pulse or blood pressure, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and heart arrhythmias.
Although there is no clear link between ziprasidone and diabetes, patients should be tested during treatment for elevated blood-sugars. Additionally, persons with risk factors for diabetes, including obesity or a family history of diabetes, should have their fasting levels of blood sugar tested before starting treatment and periodically throughout treatment to detect the onset of diabetes. Any patient developing symptoms that suggest diabetes during treatment should be tested for diabetes.
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