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Ziprasidone

Uses

This antipsychotic medication is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic episodes).

IUPAC name: 5-[2-[4-(1,2-benzothiazol-3-yl)piperazin-1-yl]ethyl]-6-chloro-1,3-dihydro indol-2-one

Drug class: Atypical antipsychotics

Route of administration: oral and intramuscular

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Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This medication works by regulating and restoring the activity of certain neurotransmitters (such as dopamine and serotonin) in the brain and helps to prevent unusual thoughts and to improve mental and emotional health.

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, headache, constipation, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, cough, runny nose, lack of energy, weakness, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, restlessness, confusion, tremors, and pain in muscles.

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to it or to other antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drugs, or if you have any other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

If you have a history of  leukemia (low white blood cell count), seizures (fits), obesity, trouble swallowing, breathing/lung problems (including sleep apnea, severe asthma, COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), intestinal blockage due to paralytic ileus, diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiac disease (heart attack, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia), dementia,

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Ziprasidone may increase the risk of QT prolongation if you have certain cardiac diseases (bradycardia, heart failure, or QT prolongation). If you have low blood levels of magnesium, potassium, or sodium, you may be more likely to experience QT prolongation (extended intervals between cardiac contraction and relaxation) when taking this medication.

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults.

Avoid activities that can cause you to overheat while taking this medication.

Avoid abruptly discontinuing this medication without first talking to your doctor.

Children under the age of 18 shouldn’t use it.

If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor. Using this drug in the last trimester of pregnancy is not recommended since it might harm the unborn child.

Consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

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