Generic Name: Clozaril
Uses of Clozapine - mechanism:
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.
Novartis manufactures and markets clozapine under the brand name Clozaril ® . Generic forms of clozapine are marketed by Zenith Goldline and Mylan Pharmaceuticals.
How to Take Clozapine
Take this medicine as directed. It can be taken with or without food. Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly without consulting with your doctor.
Side Effects of Clozapine:
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Decrease in the number of a type of white blood cell (neutrophil) in the blood (neutropenia)
- Sudden severe deficiency in the number of white blood cells in the blood (agranulocytosis)
- Increased salivation
- Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- A drop in blood pressure that occurs when going from lying down to sitting or standing, which results in dizziness and lightheadedness (postural hypotension)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abnormal movements of the hands, legs, face, neck and tongue, eg tremor, twitching, rigidity (extrapyramidal effects)
- High blood glucose level (hyperglycaemia)
- Blood clots in the blood vessels (thrombosis) that may detach and travel in the circulation to another area of the body (thromboembolism)
- Liver disorders
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing (dysphagia)
- High temperature combined with falling levels of consciousness, paleness, sweating and a fast heart beat (neuroleptic malignant syndrome). Requires stopping the medicine and immediate medical treatment.
- Inflammation of the muscular walls of the heart (myocarditis)
- Slow, shallow breathing (respiratory depression)
Warnings and precautions for Clozapine
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.
What to do if you take Overdose of Clozapine?
Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center.
What to do if you take Missed Dose of Clozapine?
Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
How to Store Clozapine:
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the 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.