Generic Name: Clozapine (KLOE-za-peen)
Drug Class: Antipsychotics
Clozapine is a medicine that is used to treat schizophrenia. This medicine
is usually prescribed when other antipsychotic medicines have not helped.
Clozapine is available only from certain pharmacies that participate with
your doctor to monitor blood tests. You will need to have weekly blood test
for at least six months. After that your doctor will decide if it is safe
for you to have blood tests every other week. You will receive enough medicine
to get you to your next blood test.
How it Works
Clozapine is part of a class of drugs called antipsychotics. This class of
drugs works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.
How to Take It
Clozapine should be taken exactly as directed. It comes in tablet form and
is taken orally one to three times a day. Your dose of clozapine may need
to be adjusted, especially in the first few weeks. You will need to take weekly
blood tests while taking clozapine and continue until 4 weeks after you stop
taking clozapine. Initially, you will only receive a weeks supply at a time.
Continue to take this medicine even if you are feeling better. This medicine
must be taken for a few weeks for you to feel its full effects.
Possible Side Effects
- Talk to your doctor if any of these side effects are bothersome or donít
- dry mouth
- If you experience any of these side effects, talk to you doctor immediately:
- difficulty urinating
- eye pain
- chest pain
- muscle stiffness (severe)
- sore throat
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- upset stomach
- yellowness of the skin or eyes
- loss of appetite
- Clozapine can cause high blood sugar. Symptoms of high blood sugar are:
- being thirsty
- having dry mouth
- urinating frequently
- feeling tired
- Clozapine can cause a serious blood condition that you need to be aware
of. Your doctor will perform weekly blood tests for the first 6 months
of treatment and once every other week after that.
- Clozapine may cause seizures. Tell your doctor if you have or have every
had a seizure. Do not perform hazardous tasks including driving while
taking clozapine, because a loss of conscienceness can hurt you or others.
- Clozapine may cause swelling the heart muscle, a dangerous condition.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- extreme tiredness
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- fast or irregular heartbeat.
- Clozapine may cause low blood pressure or dizziness when you stand up
too quickly. This may happen when you first start taking the medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you are allergic to clozapine or any other medications
- Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your
local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Some medicines should not be taken together because of drug-drug interactions.
Other medicines may affect the way clozapine works, making it less effective
or increasing its side effects. Clozapine may have an effect on your other
medicines. Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications for
anxiety such as Valium (diazepam), sleeping pills, or other medications
- Let your doctor know all of the medications that you take including
all prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs and any vitamins, supplements
or herbal remedies.
Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next
dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out
of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat
and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated
or no longer needed.
There are no studies with this medicine in pregnant women. However, clozapine
has not been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies. You and your
doctor should decide whether the benefits of taking this medicine outweigh
any risks to your baby. Clozapine may pass into breast milk. You should NOT
breastfeed while taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor for more information.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. For more information on clozapine,
talk to your healthcare provider.
|Copyright © 2004 PharmClips,
Inc. All rights reserved. Information expires March 1, 2005. Published
March 1, 2004.
This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions,
precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This is general
information and should not in any event be construed as specific instructions
for individual patients. The publisher does not accept any responsibility
for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising from
the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained
herein, including any injury and/or damage to any person or property
as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty,
expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents of this material.
The reader is advised to check with their health care provider before
making any changes in their drug regimen.