ziprasidone, Geodon (cont.)

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PREPARATIONS: Ziprasidone is available as capsules of 20 mg (blue/white), 40 mg (blue/blue), 60 mg (white/white) and 80 mg (blue/white). The injectable form is available in vials containing 20 mg of lyophilized ziprasidone that must be reconstituted with 1.2 ml of sterile water before injection.

STORAGE: Capsules should be stored at room temperature, between 15 and 30 C (59 and 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Ziprasidone is used to treat severe mental disorders like schizophrenia, which are characterized by distorted thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. Ziprasidone helps manage schizophrenia's "positive symptoms," (visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions) and may also help in treating the "negative symptoms" of schizophrenia (social withdrawal, apathy, lack of motivation, and an inability to experience pleasure). Ziprasidone also is used to treat acute bipolar mania (manic and mixed episodes) and, in combination with lithium (Lithobid) or valproate (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor), for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.

DOSING: Ziprasidone usually is taken twice a day. The usual starting dose is 20 mg twice daily. The dose may be increased over time to achieve the desired effect. Ziprasidone should be taken with food (for example, shortly after a meal) since when taken on an empty stomach, much less ziprasidone is absorbed.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Ziprasidone has a modest effect on the electrical activity of the heart which can be seen on the electrocardiogram (EKG) as a prolongation of the QT-interval. (See discussion below.) Other drugs which also affect the QT interval can add to the effects of ziprasidone and lead to serious disturbances in the rhythm of the heart. Due to the potential for such additive effects on the QT interval, ziprasidone should not be taken with thioridazine (Mellaril), quinidine (Quinidex), moxifloxacin (Avelox), pimozide (Orap), sotalol (Betapace), dofetilide (Tikosyn), and sparfloxacin (Zagam).

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