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Description

Geodon or Ziprasidone belongs to an antipsychotic class of drug that is used in the treatment of schizophrenia and acute manic symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. Manufactured by Pfizer, Geodon is also prescribed along with lithium or valproate for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. The medication works by changing the action of chemicals in the brain. Approved by the most of the drug regulatory authorities for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Geodon can be prescribed to adults and children above the ten years of age. Geodon is available in both oral and injectable form and helps patients to gain their confidence and concentration.

 

Geodon must be consumed exactly as prescribed by the doctor and individuals should follow the usage directions given by the doctor or given on the label of the drug. The drug should not be taken in larger or smaller amounts than recommended and patients should stick to the doctor’s prescribed dosage for the best effect.

  • Geodon should be taken with food to have its best effect.
  • The drug is usually recommended twice in a day.
  • The Geodon capsule should be swallowed whole without breaking or crushing.
  • The medication is started at a low dose that is gradually increased to reduce the chance of side effects.
  • The drug should not be suddenly stopped without consulting the doctor.
  • The medication must be used regularly in order to have optimum benefit of the drug.
  • The drug should be taken at the same time every day to avoid missing any dose.

Dosages

The initial recommended dose of Ziprasidone is 20 mg capsule twice in a day with food for the treatment of schizophrenia. In some of the schizophrenia patients the daily dosage can be titrated depending upon the individual response to the treatment. Dose of Geodon should be adjusted at an interval of at least 2 days to avoid further health complications.

The recommended dose of Ziprasidone for the treatment of bipolar disorder is 40 mg of capsule twice in day that should be taken with food. The dose can be gradually increased to 60 mg or 80 mg twice is day. However the dose is subsequently adjusted on the basis of patient’s tolerance and response to the drug.

Missed Dose and Overdose of Ziprasidone

Sometimes patients might miss a dose of Geodon. Missing a dose of the drug is not a serious matter and patient can take the dose as soon as they remember. If the time for the next dose is approaching then the patients can skip the missed dose and continue with their regular dosing schedule.

Overdose of the drug should be strictly avoided because it can leads to serious health problems. If any patient has accidentally taken the overdose of the drug then the patient should be provided with immediate medical attention. Taking overdose of the drug may lead to sleepiness, dizziness and increased chances of heart problems. Also, it may include problems like extreme sedation, confusion, irregular heartbeats, muscle rigidity, and seizures.

Geodon Storage Instructions

Drugs need to be stored at a place where its efficacy retains till its expiry. Always go through the leaflet of the capsule to follow its storage instructions. Medicines are always recommended to be kept at a cool place away from heat and humidity. Geodon capsules must be kept at room temperature that lies in the range of 15°-30°C. It should also be safely kept away from children and pets.

Cautions

Patients prescribed with Ziprasidone must be aware of warnings and important precautions of this drug. This will help them in safe self-administration of the drug without causing any adverse effect on their health. Geodon should never be taken without the supervision of a physician. Some of the important precautions and warnings that must be explained to the patients include:

  • Geodon is not approved for the treatment of dementia or dementia-related symptoms. Elderly dementia patient are not usually treated with Geodon.
  • Patients suffering long QT syndrome should avoid taking Geodon.
  • Ziprasidone can increase blood sugar levels and may also increase the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Ziprasidone may increase the risk of seizures, thus patients having epilepsy or history of seizure should inform the doctor before taking this drug.
  • This drug may sometime cause low white blood cells.

Patients suffering from any of the below given problem must inform the doctor before starting treatment with Ziprasidone:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Allergic reactions
  • Kidney disease
  • Seizures
  • Epilepsy
  • Liver disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Low blood pressure
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives

Side Effects

Some side effects are likely to occur while using Ziprasidone and thus it is important for the patients to be aware of it. Common side effects that are usually experienced while taking this drug are usually not severe and normally subsides after the regular use of the drug. Patients experiencing any of the common side effects must not worry and should not stop using the drug. Few of the common side effects that are generally experienced by the patients taking Ziprasidone include:

  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Tired and sleepy feeling
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Abnormal muscle movement
  • Restlessness
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Rash

Geodon Severe Side Effects:

Very few severe side effects are experienced by patients taking Ziprasidone. Upon experiencing any of the severe side effects, patients must immediately stop taking the drug and consult the doctor. Some of the serious side effects that can occur include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unusual and uncontrollable movement of face or body
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low blood pressure
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Fungal infection
  • Flu like symptoms

Ziprasidone Drug Interactions

Before using Ziprasidone patients must inform the doctor or pharmacist of all prescription, non-prescription and herbal medications taken by them. Certain drugs should not be used along with Ziprasidone because it can cause serious interactions. Following drugs should not be taken in combination with Geodon:

  • Antimuscarinics like scopolamine
  • High blood pressure drugs like beta blockers or calcium channel blockers
  • Sibutramine
  • Levodopa
  • Metoclopramide
  • Dofetilide
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Pimozide
  • Quinidine
  • Sotalol

Various drugs that decrease the levels of Geodon are:

  • Tegretol, Equetro (carbamazepine)
  • Dilantin (phenytoin)
  • Mycobutin (rifabutin)
  • Phenobarbital
  • Rifadin/Rimactane/Rofact (rifampin/rifampicin)
  • Rezulin (troglitazone)
  • St. John’sWort

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