Clozapine is used to treat severe forms of schizophrenia or to reduce the risk of suicide in individuals with schizophrenia or similar disorders.
What is Clozapine?
Clozapine is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the activity of certain molecules in the brain.
How should Clozapine be taken?
Clozapine is usually administered orally.
Side effects associated with Clozapine
During treatment with clozapine, it is possible to contract serious infections. For this reason, it is important to contact a doctor immediately if you experience:
- Sudden weakness
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Flu-like symptoms
The drug may also increase the risk of death in elderly individuals with disorders associated with dementia. Among the other possible side effects of clozapine include the following:
- Slowed or accelerated heartbeat
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Increased salivation
- Vision problems
It is important to immediately seek help from a doctor if you experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat
- Mouth sores
- Swollen gums
- Difficulty swallowing
- Headache associated with chest pain, severe dizziness, heavy heartbeat or chest discomfort
- Feeling faint
- Sudden cough, rapid breathing or blood in the sputum
- Tightness in the neck or jaw
- tics or uncontrollable movements of the eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms or legs
- Swelling, rapid weight gain or decreased urination
- Signs of inflammation: bruises or bleeding, tingling or numbness, muscle weakness, stomach pain, jaundice, chest pains, coughing, or breathing difficulties
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Clozapine
During treatment with clozapine, it is important to undergo frequent blood tests because of the risk of serious infections.
Before starting treatment with clozapine, it is important to tell your doctor if:
- You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or any other drugs or food
- You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular: carbamazepine, droperidol, methadone, antibiotics, antidepressants, antimalarial medication, or anti-arrhythmic drugs
- You are suffering (or have suffered) from cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, long QT (even in case of family history), heart attack, stroke and mini-stroke, electrolyte imbalances (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood), convulsions , head injury, brain tumors, diabetes or risk factors for diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides, paralytic ileus, kidney or liver disease, prostatic hypertrophy, micturition disorders, glaucoma, malnutrition or dehydration
- You are a smoker
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding