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ziprasidone (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ziprasidone (Geodon)?

Ziprasidone is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Ziprasidone may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ziprasidone, or if you have:

  • a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome";
  • history of recent heart attack; or
  • uncontrolled or untreated heart failure.

Ziprasidone should never be taken together with any of the following drugs, or a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder could occur:

To make sure you can safely take ziprasidone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a heart rhythm disorder;
  • a history of heart attack or stroke;
  • a history of bone marrow or blood cell disorder;
  • low blood levels of potassium or magnesium;
  • diabetes (ziprasidone may raise your blood sugar);
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • a history of suicidal thoughts;
  • Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

Ziprasidone may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Talk to your doctor if you have any signs of hyperglycemia such as increased thirst or urination, excessive hunger, or weakness. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking ziprasidone.

The ziprasidone orally disintegrating tablet may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of ziprasidone if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

FDA pregnancy category C. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking ziprasidone, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.

It is not known whether ziprasidone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

How should I take ziprasidone (Geodon)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Take this medicine with food.

Use ziprasidone regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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