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Geodon is used to treat severe mental disorders like schizophrenia, which are characterized by distorted thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. Geodon helps manage schizophrenia's "positive symptoms," (visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions) and may also help in treating the "negative symptoms" of schizophrenia (social withdrawal, apathy, lack of motivation, and an inability to experience pleasure). Geodon is also used to treat acute bipolar mania, including manic and mixed episodes.
Geodon usually is taken twice a day. The usual starting dose is 20 mg twice daily. The dose may be increased over time to achieve the desired effect. Geodon should be taken with food (for example, shortly after a meal) since when taken on an empty stomach, much less geodon is absorbed.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Geodon is an oral and injectable drug that is used for treating psychoses, for example, schizophrenia. Although the mechanism of geodon action is not known, like other anti-psychotics, it inhibits communication between nerves of the brain. It does this by blocking receptors on the nerves for several neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other. It is thought that the beneficial effect of geodon is due to its blocking of dopamine and serotonin receptors. It also inhibits the re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine by nerves in the brain like some anti-depressant drugs. Geodon is associated with little or no weight gain, a feature that distinguishes it from other anti-psychotic drugs. Similarly, geodon is unique among anti-psychotic drugs in that it does not increase cholesterol levels.
Continue to take this medicine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Capsules should be stored at room temperature, between 15 and 30 degrees C (59-86 degrees F).
Possible Side Effects
Some of the most common side effects, associated with geodon are feeling unusually tired (1 in 7 patients), nausea (1 in 10), constipation (1 in 11), dizziness (1 in 12), restlessness (1 in 12), diarrhea (1 in 20), rash (1 in 20), and a condition with abnormal muscle movements, including tremor, shuffling, and uncontrollable movements (1 in 20).
There is a slight risk (1 in 1500 patients) that geodon by itself could significantly increase the QT interval. There is an even smaller risk (1 in 4000 patients) that it could cause a potentially serious change in the rhythm of the heart.
Geodon causes orthostatic hypotension, a drop in blood pressure upon rising that can cause dizziness or light-headedness. The risk is about 1 in 200 patients.
Geodon frequently causes tiredness (1 in 7 patients). Therefore, care should be exercised in any activity, requiring mental alertness, such as operating a motor vehicle (including automobiles) or operating hazardous machinery. Less common side effects include seizures (1 in 250 patients).
As with other antipsychotics, long-term use of geodon may lead to a potentially irreversible condition called tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the jaw, lips, and tongue). A potentially fatal complex referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported with other anti-psychotic drugs. Patients who develop NMS may have high fevers, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, irregular pulse or blood pressure, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and heart arrhythmias.
Do not share this medicine with others for whom it was not prescribed. Do not use this medicine for other health conditions. Keep this medicine out of the reach of children. If using this medicine for an extended period of time, obtain refills before your supply runs out.