- Schizophrenia Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Schizophrenia Quiz
- Physical Symptoms of Depression Slideshow
- What is clozapine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for clozapine?
- What are the side effects of clozapine?
- What is the dosage for clozapine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with clozapine?
- Is clozapine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about clozapine?
What is clozapine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Clozapine is an anti-psychotic medication that works by blocking receptors in the brain for several neurotransmitters (chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other) including dopamine type 4 receptors, serotonin type 2 receptors, norepinephrine receptors, acetylcholine receptors, and histamine receptors. Unlike traditional anti-psychotic agents, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and haloperidol (Haldol) as well as the newer anti-psychotics, risperidone (Risperdal) and olanzapine (Zyprexa), clozapine only weakly blocks dopamine type 2 receptors.
What brand names are available for clozapine?
Clozaril, FazaClo, Versacloz
Is clozapine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for clozapine?
What are the side effects of clozapine?
The most common side effect of clozapine is drowsiness.
Dizziness is another side effect of clozapine. Dizziness may occur in 1 of 5 persons taking clozapine. In some cases this may be due to orthostatic hypotension, a marked decrease in blood pressure that occurs when going from a lying or sitting position to a standing position. The drop in blood pressure may lead to loss of consciousness or even cardiac and respiratory arrest. This reaction is more common during the first few weeks of therapy while the dose is increasing, when drug is stopped briefly, or when patients are taking benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) or other anti-psychotic drugs.
Seizures have occurred in approximately 1 of every 20 to 30 persons receiving clozapine. Patients receiving higher doses seem to be at higher risk.
What is the dosage for clozapine?
Clozapine is given once, twice, or three times daily. The dose often is increased slowly until the optimal dose is found. The full effects of clozapine may not be seen until several weeks after treatment is begun.
Which drugs or supplements interact with clozapine?
Risperidone (Risperdal) may cause an increase in the amount of clozapine in the blood. This could lead to an increased risk of side effects from clozapine.
Is clozapine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of clozapine in pregnant women. Studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus. Clozapine can be used in pregnancy if the physician feels that it is necessary.
Animal studies suggest that clozapine is secreted in breast milk. Therefore, women taking clozapine should not nurse their infants.
What else should I know about clozapine?
What preparations of clozapine are available?
Tablets (orally disintegrating): 12.5, 25, 100, 150, and 200 mg
How should I keep clozapine stored?
Tablets should be kept below 30 C (86 F).
Latest Mental Health News
Daily Health News
Clozapine (Clozaril, Fazacio ODT, Versacloz) is a medication prescribed for the management of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
What is schizophrenia? Learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment. Read about schizophrenia types such as paranoid...
Surprising Causes of Weight Gain
There are many reasons for sudden weight gain when there are no changes in diet or exercise. Learn to identify the cause of your...
Schizophrenia Quiz: What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder. Learn more about the challenges of mental illness with the Schizophrenia Quiz.
Postpartum Depression: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Postpartum depression is a treatable medical illness which affects women after giving birth. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis...
Related Disease Conditions
Suicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year, and 10 million to 20 million attempt suicide annually.
Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to communicate and pay attention. Symptoms of psychosis appear in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their mid-20s to early 30s. With treatment involving the use of antipsychotic medications and psychosocial treatment, schizophrenia patients can lead rewarding and meaningful lives.
Mental Illness in Children
About 5 million children and adolescents in the U.S. suffer from a serious mental illness such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, pervasive development disorders, elimination disorders, learning disorders, schizophrenia, tic disorders, and mood disorders. Symptoms of mental illness include frequent outbursts of anger, hyperactivity, fear of gaining weight, excessive worrying, frequent temper tantrums, and hearing voices that aren't there. Treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy, and creative therapies.
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Brief psychotic disorder is a short-term mental illness that features psychotic symptoms. There are three forms of brief psychotic disorder. The first occurs shortly after a major stress, the second has no apparent trauma that triggers the illness, and the third is associated with postpartum onset. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, unusual behavior, disorientation, changes in eating and sleeping, and speech that doesn't make sense. Treatment typically involves medication and psychotherapy.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by odd behaviors, feelings, perceptions, and ways of relating to others that interfere with one's ability to function. Medication and psychotherapy can help the sufferer to manage their symptoms.
Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, substance-induced psychotic disorder, paraphrenia, and psychotic disorders due to medical conditions.
Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under the umbrella of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, and substance-abuse disorders are common types of mental illness. Symptoms and signs of mental illness include irritability, moodiness, insomnia, headaches, and sadness. Treatment may involve psychotherapy and medication.
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
Mental illness is any disease or condition affecting the brain that influence the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others. Mental illness is caused by heredity, biology, psychological trauma and environmental stressors.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Altered Mental Status
- Poor Hygiene
- Loss of Speech
- Catatonia (Catatonic Behavior)
- Abnormal Facial Expressions
- Unusual Behavior
- Disorganized Speech
- Lack of Facial Expressions
- Inability to Regulate Emotions
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Lewy Body Dementia
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Brief Psychotic Disorder
- Schizophrenia FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Strategies That Work to Help Prevent Suicides
- Can the Anesthetic Ketamine Ease Suicidal Thoughts?
- Antipsychotics Don't Ease Delirium in Hospitalized Patients
- Antipsychotic Drugs Tied to Risk of Early Death in Parkinson's Patients
- Psychosis Plus Pot a Bad Mix: Study
- Too Few Psychiatric Patients Screened for Diabetes: Study
- Are Too Many Young Americans Getting Antipsychotics for ADHD?
- New Drug Shows Early Promise in Treating Parkinson's Psychosis
- Bipolar Disorder Drugs May 'Tweak' Genes Affecting Brain
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds
- Antipsychotics in Pregnancy Risky for Newborns
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information