Loxapine

Generic Name: Loxapine

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Loxapine is a medicine used to treat schizophrenia.

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

    How does this medication work?

    Although it is unclear exactly how loxapine works, it seems to change the level of excitability in the brain, thereby reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia.

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

    What: Loxapine has been shown to reduce aggressive behavior and cause calming effects.

    When: Loxapine may start working within 20 to 30 minutes.

    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.

    Loxapine 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.

    More common side effects may include: drowsiness, weakness, restlessness, fast heartbeat, low or high blood pressure, fainting, swelling, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision.

    Less common side effects may include:

    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.

    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 loxapine if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take loxapine if you are severely sedated from drinking alcohol, or taking barbiturates (such as phenobarbital) or narcotic painkillers (such as morphine or oxycodone).

  • 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 loxapine. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have low white blood cell counts, seizures, high prolactin (a hormone that can affect lactation, menstruation, and fertility) levels, heart problems, a blockage in your intestines, a brain tumor, glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), urinary retention (inability to urinate normally), 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.

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 10 milligrams twice a day. Your healthcare provider may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take this medication?

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

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking loxapine.

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

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

    If loxapine 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 loxapine with the following: alcohol or medications that slow down your brain function (such as lorazepam or quetiapine).

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

    Loxapine may harm your newborn baby if you take it during the last few months of your pregnancy. The effects of loxapine during breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking loxapine. 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 loxapine, 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.