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Clozapine : Uses, Dosage, Contraindications, Side Effects, Overdose

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BRAND NAME :  Clozapine

Brand Names:

Clozaril®

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Clozapine can cause a serious blood condition. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests before starting treatment, once a week for the first 6 months, and at least once every other week therafter to check your response to clozapine.Clozapine may cause seizures. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, swim, or climb while taking clozapine, because if you suddenly lose consciousness you could harm yourself or others.Clozapine may cause swelling of the heart muscle (myocarditis), a condition that can be dangerous. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: extreme tiredness; difficulty breathing or fast breathing; fever; chest pain; or fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat.Clozapine may cause low blood pressure and/or dizziness when you stand up, especially when you first start taking it. Tell your doctor if you are taking medications for anxiety such as diazepam (Valium), sleeping pills, or other medications for schizophrenia. Follow your doctor's directions about starting to take a low dose of clozapine and gradually increasing the dose. If you stop taking clozapine for 2 days or longer, talk to your doctor about restarting clozapine on a low dose.

Medication prescribed:

Clozapine is used to treat schizophrenia in patients where other medicine has not worked. Clozapine is in a class of medications called antipsychotics. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

How should this medicine be used:

Clozapine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken one to three times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take clozapine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. The amount of clozapine you take may need to be adjusted, especially during the first few weeks. You will have weekly blood tests while taking clozapine and for 4 weeks after stopping it. Initially, you will receive only a 1-week supply of this medication at a time. Continue to take clozapine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking clozapine without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually. This drug must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.

Other uses for this medicine:

This medication should not be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Special precautions:

Before taking clozapine, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clozapine or any other drugs. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), benztropine (Cogentin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), cimetidine (Tagamet), dicyclomine (Bentyl), erythromcyin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, others), medication for high blood pressure, phenytoin (Dilantin), pain relievers such as codeine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and fluvoxamine (Luvox), trihexyphenidyl (Artane), and vitamins. in addition to the condition listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had blood disorders; heart, kidney, or liver disease; depression; epilepsy; problems with your urinary system or prostate; glaucoma; irregular heartbeat; problems with your blood pressure; blood problems caused by clozapine; or if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had diabetes. tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking clozapine, call your doctor. if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking clozapine. you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug. tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this drug. you should know that you may have increases in your blood sugar (hyperglycemia) while you are taking this medication, even if you do not already have diabetes. If you have schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions), you are more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not have schizophrenia, and taking clozapine or similar medications may increase this risk. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while you are taking clozapine: extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, or weakness.It is very important to call your doctor as soon as you have any of these symptoms, because high blood sugar can cause more serious symptoms, such as dry mouth, upset stomach and vomiting, shortness of breath, breath that smells fruity, or decreased consciousness,and may become life-threatening if it is not treated at an early stage.

If I forget a dose:

If you take clozapine several times a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. However, if you remember a missed dose when it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. If you take clozapine once a day at bedtime and do not remember it until the next morning, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects:

Although side effects from clozapine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: drowsiness diarrhea constipation restlessness headache If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNINGS or SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately: tremor seizures or convulsions difficulty urinating or loss of bladder control confusion eye pain shakiness chest pain severe muscle stiffness sore throat unusual bleeding or bruising loss of appetite yellowness of the skin or eyes

What storage conditions:

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. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of overdose:

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Other information:

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to clozapine.

More information:    Clozapine








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