Ziprasidone is used to treat acute agitation that can occur in some patients with schizophrenia.
What is Ziprasidone?
Ziprasidone is an antipsychotic. It is thought to work by altering the balance of certain chemicals in the brain, which are responsible for thinking and behavior.
How should Ziprasidone be taken?
Ziprasidone can be administered by intramuscularly via injections or orally in the form of capsules.
Side effects associated with Ziprasidone
Ziprasidone may increase the risk of heat stroke, neuroleptic malignant syndrome and severe skin reactions. It may also cause prolonged and painful erections, uncontrollable muscle movements, increase in sugars and prolactin in the blood and reduce the body’s ability to fight infections.
Among the other possible side effects of ziprasidone include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Unusual fatigue or drowsiness
- Persistent cough or runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Pain at the injection site
- Stomach discomfort
- Weight gain
It is important to contact a doctor immediately if you experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest or chest pain
- Swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
- Unusual hoarseness
- Strange thoughts
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Rapid, slow or irregular heartbeat
- Persistent fever, chills or sore throat
- Inability to move
- Muscle stiffness
- Muscle spasms or tics
- Feeling of shots to the chest
- Severe or persistent dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden or unexplainable weight gain
- Suicidal thoughts
- Excessive sweating
- Swelling of the hands, ankles or feet
- Swollen glands
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Uncontrolled movements
- Unusual behavior
- Vision problems
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Ziprasidone
Ziprasidone is contraindicated in case of recent heart attack, severe heart failure and some heart problems.
It also should not be taken together with amiodarone, arsenic, chlorpromazine, disopyramide, dofetilide, dolasetron, dronedarone, droperidol, gatifloxacin, halofantrine, ibutilide, levacetylmethadol, mefloquine, mesoridazine, moxifloxacin, pentamidine, pimozide, probucol, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, sparfloxacin, tacrolimus, thioridazine or any medication that may prolong QT interval.
Ziprasidone can impair the ability to drive or operate dangerous machinery. This side effect may be aggravated by alcohol and certain other medications. In addition, high temperatures, physical exercise and fever can all increase dizziness associated with this medication. For these reasons, it is advisable to get up slowly from a lying or seated position (especially in the morning).
Before starting treatment with ziprasidone, it is important to tell your doctor if:
- You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or to any other drugs, food or various substances
- You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular: amiodarone, arsenic, chlorpromazine, disopyramide, dofetilide, dolasetron, dronedarone, droperidol, gatifloxacin, halofantrine, ibutilide, levacetylmethadol, mefloquine, mesoridazine, moxifloxacin, pentamidine, pimozide, probucol, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, sparfloxacin, tacrolimus, thioridazine, carbamazepine or ketoconazole
- You are suffering (or have suffered) from fainting or dizziness, heart problems, low potassium or magnesium in the blood, hypovolemia, low white blood cells, movement disorders, diabetes, kidney or liver problems, low blood pressure, seizures, difficulty swallowing, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, high prolactin levels in the blood or tumors
- You have recently suffered from a stroke or heart attack
- You are experiencing (or have experienced) suicidal thoughts
- You have a family history of diabetes
- You are overweight
- You are at risk of breast cancer
- You are suffering from dehydration
- You drink alcohol on a regular basis
- You are frequently exposed to high temperatures
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding