ziprasidone (Geodon)

Brand Names: Geodon

Generic Name: ziprasidone (Pronunciation: zi PRAY si done)

What is ziprasidone (Geodon)?

Ziprasidone is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.

Ziprasidone is used to treat schizophrenia and the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.

Ziprasidone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Geodon 20 mg

capsule, blue/white, imprinted with PFIZER 396

Geodon 40 mg

capsule, blue, imprinted with PFIZER 397

Geodon 60 mg

capsule, white, imprinted with PFIZER 398

Geodon 80 mg

blue/white, capsule, imprinted with PFIZER 399

What are the possible side effects of ziprasidone (Geodon)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking ziprasidone and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • dizziness, feeling light-headed, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
  • fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • tremor (uncontrolled shaking), restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
  • agitation, hostility, confusion;
  • increased thirst or urination, weakness, extreme hunger; or
  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild skin rash;
  • anxiety, headache, depressed mood;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • muscle pain or twitching;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat; or
  • weight gain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about 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 have a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome," if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you have uncontrolled heart failure.

Stop taking ziprasidone and call your doctor right away if you feel dizzy or light-headed, have a fast or pounding heartbeat, or if you faint. This could be signs of a serious heart rhythm problem.

There are many other medicines that can cause serious or life-threatening medical problems if you take them together with ziprasidone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

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:

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.

What happens if I miss a dose (Geodon)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Geodon)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, problems with speech, dizziness, feeling light-headed, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat, or restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck.

What should I avoid while taking ziprasidone (Geodon)?

While you are taking ziprasidone, you may be more sensitive to temperature extremes such as very hot or cold conditions. Avoid getting too cold, or becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking ziprasidone.

Ziprasidone may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of ziprasidone.

What other drugs will affect ziprasidone (Geodon)?

Before taking ziprasidone, tell your doctor if you regularly use any other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by ziprasidone.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially:

  • a diuretic (water pill), blood pressure medicine, or heart rhythm medicine;
  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);
  • cisapride (Propulsid);
  • haloperidol (Haldol);
  • narcotic pain medication; or
  • medicines used to treat Parkinson's Disease such as levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa, Sinemet, Atamet, others).

This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can cause serious or life-threatening medical problems if you take them together with ziprasidone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about ziprasidone.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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