Geodon

Generic Name: Ziprasidone

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Geodon is a medicine used to treat schizophrenia (a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others) and agitation in schizophrenic patients. It is also used for short-term treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (a brain disorder that has two different types, a period of abnormally and persistently elevated or irritable mood or a state of depressed mood and loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities). In addition, Geodon can be used long term in combination with lithium or valproate for bipolar disorder. Geodon is available as capsules and an intramuscular injection (injected directly into the muscle).

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Although it is unclear exactly how Geodon works, it seems to help balance the chemicals in the brain, thereby helping to improve your symptoms.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What:

    Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Agitation Associated with Schizophrenia: Geodon has been shown to relieve symptoms of these conditions, as measured by symptom rating scales that are commonly used by healthcare providers to evaluate the effectiveness of the medicine in people with these conditions.

    When: It may take a few weeks for Geodon to work, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Geodon exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Your healthcare provider may ask you questions from time to time to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Geodon is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia (an illness involving loss of memory and judgment, and confusion) in the elderly. It can be life-threatening when used in elderly people with mental problems caused by dementia.

    Schizophrenia

    More common side effects may include: drowsiness, respiratory tract infection.

    Bipolar Disorder

    More common side effects may include: dizziness, drowsiness, abnormal muscle movements (such as shaking, shuffling, or uncontrolled involuntary movements), restlessness, abnormal vision, vomiting, weakness.

    Less common side effects of Geodon may include:

    Changes in the electrical activity of your heart, with symptoms such as chest pain, fast or slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness or fainting.

    Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) (a life-threatening brain disorder) with symptoms such as high fever, excessive sweating, muscle rigidity, confusion, changes in your breathing, fast or irregular heartbeat, or changes in your blood pressure.

    Tardive dyskinesia, defined as abnormal muscle movements, including tremor, shuffling, and uncontrolled, involuntary movements.

    High blood sugar with symptoms such as excessive thirst, an increase in urination, increased appetite, weakness, confusion, fruity smelling breath, or feeling sick to your stomach.

    Increased cholesterol (fats in your blood) and triglycerides (a type of blood fat), and weight gain.

    Increased prolactin (a hormone that can affect lactation, menstruation, and fertility) levels, with side effects including missed menstrual periods, leakage of milk from the breasts, development of breasts in men, or problems with erection.

    Sudden fall in blood pressure with symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting when rising too quickly from a sitting or lying position.

    Low white blood cell counts with symptoms of an infection (such as fever, sore throat, rash, or chills).

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Geodon if you are allergic to it or to any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Geodon if you have certain heart diseases, such as a recent heart attack, severe heart failure, or certain irregularities of heart rhythm.

    Do not take Geodon if you are taking other medicines that affect your heart rhythm (such as dofetilide, sotalol, quinidine, mesoridazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, droperidol, pimozide, sparfloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, halofantrine, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, levomethadyl, dolasetron, probucol, or tacrolimus).

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Geodon. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have problems with the way your heart beats, heart disease, or a family history of heart disease or heart attack; problems with fainting or dizziness; liver problems; low blood potassium or magnesium levels; Alzheimer's disease; thoughts about suicide; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Schizophrenia

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 20 milligrams (mg) twice a day.

    Short-term Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 40 mg twice a day.

    Maintenance Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Combination with Lithium or Valproate

    Adults: The recommended dose is 40 mg to 80 mg twice a day.

    Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Geodon exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Geodon without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Geodon at the same time each day, with food.

    Swallow Geodon capsules whole.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how Geodon affects you.

    Do not get overheated or dehydrated while you are taking Geodon. Drink plenty of water and do not over-exercise. Stay out of the sun, and do not wear too much or heavy clothing. In hot weather, stay in a cool place if possible.

    Do not drink alcohol while taking Geodon.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Geodon is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Geodon with the following: alcohol, blood pressure medications (such as amlodipine or valsartan), carbamazepine, certain medicines that affect your heart rhythm, dopamine, ketoconazole, levodopa, or medicines that slow down your brain function.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Geodon may harm your newborn baby if you take it during the last few months of your pregnancy. Do not take Geodon while you are breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Geodon, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

Starting an Antidepressant?

Our 10-week newsletter series, written by a pharmacist, will help you learn about your medication.
Sign Up

Geodon Related Drugs