Geodon (generic: ziprasidone) is a prescription medication used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Geodon belongs to a group of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. It is believed to work by lessening the effects of serotonin and dopamine, natural substances in the brain, that are often elevated in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
This medication comes in capsule form and is usually taken twice daily with food.
Common side effects of Geodon include nausea, constipation, and drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
Geodon is a prescription medication used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Geodon, like any medication can cause side effects, some of which can be serious or life-threatening.
Because these problems could mean you're having a heart rhythm abnormality, contact your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you:
- Faint or lose consciousness
- Feel a change in the way that your heart beats (palpitations)
Common side effects of Geodon include the following and should also be discussed with your doctor if they occur:
- Feeling unusually tired or sleepy
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Abnormal muscle movements, including tremor, shuffling, and uncontrolled involuntary movements
- Increased cough / runny nose
If you develop any side effects that concern you, talk with your doctor. It is particularly important to tell your doctor if you have diarrhea, vomiting, or another illness that can cause you to lose fluids. Your doctor may want to check your blood to make sure that you have the right amount of important salts after such illnesses.
For a list of all side effects that have been reported, ask your doctor or pharmacist for the Geodon Professional Package Insert.
There are some medications that may be unsafe to use when taking Geodon, and there are some medicines that can affect how well Geodon works. While you are on Geodon, check with your doctor before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medications, including natural/herbal remedies.
Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- amiodarone and other anti-arrhythmics
- arsenic trioxide
- levomethadyl acetate
- dolasetron mesylate
- dopamine agonists
- HIV protease inhibitors
- hormonal contraceptives
- medicines for anxiety
- medicines high blood pressure
- medicines for seizures
This is not a complete list of Geodon drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Geodon is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis. Elderly patients with a diagnosis of psychosis related to dementia treated with antipsychotics are at an increased risk of death when compared to patients who are treated with placebo (a sugar pill).
Geodon is an effective drug to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and the manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder. However, one potential side effect is that it may change the way the electrical current in your heart works more than some other drugs. The change is small and it is not known whether this will be harmful, but some other drugs that cause this kind of change have in rare cases caused dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities. Because of this, Geodon should be used only after your doctor has considered this risk for Geodon against the risks and benefits of other medications available for treating schizophrenia or bipolar manic and mixed episodes.
Your risk of dangerous changes in heart rhythm can be increased if you are taking certain other medicines and if you already have certain abnormal heart conditions. Therefore, it is important to tell your doctor about any other medicines that you take, including non-prescription medicines, supplements, and herbal medicines. You must also tell your doctor about any heart problems you have or have had.
Who should NOT take Geodon?
Elderly patients with a diagnosis of psychosis related to dementia. Geodon is not approved for the treatment of these patients.
Anything that can increase the chance of a heart rhythm abnormality should be avoided. Therefore, do not take Geodon if:
- You have certain heart diseases, for example, long QT syndrome, a recent heart attack, severe heart failure, or certain irregularities of heart rhythm (discuss the specifics with your doctor)
- You are currently taking medications that should not be taken in combination with ziprasidone, for example, dofetilide, sotalol, quinidine, other Class Ia and III anti-arrhythmics, mesoridazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, droperidol, pimozide, sparfloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, halofantrine, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, levomethadyl acetate, dolasetron mesylate, probucol or tacrolimus.
A serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) can occur with all antipsychotic medications including Geodon. Signs of NMS include very high fever, rigid muscles, shaking, confusion, sweating, or increased heart rate and blood pressure. NMS is a rare but serious side effect that could be fatal. Therefore, tell your doctor if you experience any of these signs.
Adverse reactions related to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), sometimes serious, have been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. There have been few reports of hyperglycemia or diabetes in patients treated with Geodon, and it is not known if Geodon is associated with these reactions. Patients treated with an atypical antipsychotic should be monitored for symptoms of hyperglycemia.
Dizziness caused by a drop in your blood pressure may occur with Geodon, especially when you first start taking this medication or when the dose is increased. If this happens, be careful not to stand up too quickly, and talk to your doctor about the problem.
Before taking Geodon, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. It is advised that you don't breast feed an infant if you are taking Geodon.
Because Geodon can cause sleepiness, be careful when operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. Since medications of the same drug class as Geodon may interfere with the ability of the body to adjust to heat, it is best to avoid situations involving high temperature or humidity.
It is best to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages while taking Geodon.
Call your doctor immediately if you take more than the amount of Geodon prescribed by your doctor.
Geodon has not been shown to be safe or effective in the treatment of children and teenagers under the age of 18 years old.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Geodon and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
Only your doctor can decide if Geodon is right for you. Before you start Geodon, be sure to tell your doctor if you:
- have had any problem with the way your heart beats or any heart related illness or disease
- any family history of heart disease, including recent heart attack
- have had any problem with fainting or dizziness
- are taking or have recently taken any prescription medicines
- are taking any over-the-counter medicines you can buy without a prescription, including natural/herbal remedies
- have had any problems with your liver
- are pregnant, might be pregnant, or plan to get pregnant
- are breast feeding
- are allergic to any medicines
- have ever had an allergic reaction to ziprasidone or any of the other ingredients of Geodon capsules. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of these ingredients
- have low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood
Your doctor may want you to get additional laboratory tests to see if Geodon is an appropriate treatment for you.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Geodon will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if Geodon is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.
- Take Geodon only as directed by your doctor.
- Swallow the capsules whole.
- Take Geodon capsules with food.
- It is best to take Geodon at the same time each day.
- Geodon may take a few weeks to work. It is important to be patient.
- Do not change your dose or stop taking your medicine without your doctor's approval.
- Remember to keep taking your capsules, even when you feel better.
The following is a list of recommended dosages:
- Schizophrenia: Initiate at 20 mg twice daily. Daily dosage may be adjusted up to 80 mg twice daily. Dose adjustments should occur at intervals of not less than 2 days. Safety and efficacy has been demonstrated in doses up to 100 mg twice daily. The lowest effective dose should be used.
- Acute treatment of manic/mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder: Initiate at 40 mg twice daily. Increase to 60 mg or 80 mg twice daily on day 2 of treatment. Subsequent dose adjustments should be based on tolerability and efficacy within the range of 40–80 mg twice daily.
- Maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder as an adjunct to lithium or valproate: Continue treatment at the same dose on which the patient was initially stabilized, within the range of 40–80 mg twice daily.
- Acute treatment of agitation associated with schizophrenia (intramuscular administration): 10 mg–20 mg up to a maximum dose of 40 mg per day. Doses of 10 mg may be administered every 2 hours. Doses of 10 mg may be administered every 2 hours. Doses of 20 mg may be administered every 4 hours
Your doctor will determine the best dose for you. Take Geodon exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
In case of an overdose, call your doctor or poison control center right away or go to the nearest emergency room.
Geodon capsules are available in the following strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, and 80 mg
Active ingredient: ziprasidone hydrochloride
Inactive ingredients: lactose, magnesium stearate
Keep Geodon and all medicines out of the reach of children.
Store Geodon capsules at room temperature (59°–86°F or 15°–30°C).
WARNING: INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. GEODON (ziprasidone) is not approved for the treatment of patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis.