Ziprasidone (By mouth)
Treats schizophrenia and certain problems caused by bipolar disorder.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ziprasidone, or if you have severe heart failure or have recently had a heart attack. You should not use this medicine if you have a history of heart rhythm problems such as QT prolongation (including congenital long QT syndrome) or if you are using certain medicines that prolong the QT interval in the heart (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, quinidine, procainamide, sotalol, mesoridazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, droperidol, pimozide, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, halofantrine, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, levomethadyl acetate, dolasetron mesylate, probucol, or tacrolimus). This medicine should not be used in elderly patients who have a mental illness called dementia-related psychosis.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- It is best to take this medicine with food or milk at the same time every day. Swallow the capsule whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using medicines to lower blood pressure (such as atenolol, lisinopril, metoprolol, quinapril, Accupril®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Toprol®, or Zestril®). Tell your doctor if you are using a diuretic or "water pill" (such as furosemide, Aldactazide®, Aldactone®, Dyazide®, Lasix®, Moduretic®, or Maxzide®), carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Tegretol®), or ketoconazole (Nizoral®).
- Tell your doctor if you are also using levodopa (Dopart®, Larodopa®), bromocriptine (Parlodel®), pramipexole (Mirapex®), ropinirole (Requip®), cabergoline (Dostinex®), or apomorphine (Apokyn®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have blood or bone marrow problems, prolactin-dependent breast cancer, diabetes, trouble with swallowing, or a history of seizures or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Tell your doctor if you have any kind of blood vessel or heart problems, including low blood pressure, heart failure, a low amount of blood, a slow heartbeat, a history of a heart attack or stroke, or low potassium or magnesium levels in your blood. Also, tell your doctor if you have had thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
- This medicine can cause changes in the heart rhythm, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause fainting or serious side effects. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.
- Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
- Tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder) may occur and may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: lip smacking or puckering; puffing of the cheeks; rapid, worm-like movements of the tongue; uncontrolled chewing movements; or other uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs.
- This medicine may cause an increase in your blood sugar. If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood sugar more often. Check with your doctor right away if you have increased thirst or increased urination, or if you have any questions.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- This medicine should not be used to treat mental disorders in elderly patients who have dementia. Using this medicine to treat this condition could increase the risk for serious side effects, including death. Make sure the doctor knows if the person who will be using this medicine has forgetfulness or confusion related to aging (such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia).
- This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, have trouble with thinking, or have trouble with controlling body movements. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert, well-coordinated, or able to think well.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If this problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
- This medicine might reduce how much you sweat. Your body could get too hot if you do not sweat enough. If your body gets too hot, you might feel dizzy, weak, tired, or confused. You might vomit or have an upset stomach. Do not get too hot while you are exercising. Avoid places that are very hot. Call your doctor if you are too hot and cannot cool down.
- This medicine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies. If you or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Chest pain.
- Chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
- Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
- Fever, sweating, confusion, or muscle stiffness.
- Increased thirst, hunger, or urination.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Mood or behavioral changes, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
- Neck muscle spasm, throat tightness, difficulty with swallowing or breathing, or sticking out of the tongue.
- Painful, prolonged erection of your penis (in males).
- Problems with balance or walking.
- Severe diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
- Skin rash.
- Twitching or muscle movements you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw).
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Anxiety or restlessness.
- Changes in vision.
- Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or upset stomach.
- Dry mouth.
- Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness.
- Weight gain.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013