What is this medication?
ZIPRASIDONE (zi PRAY si done) treats schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It works by balancing the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain, substances that help regulate mood, behaviors, and thoughts. It belongs to a group of medications called antipsychotics. Antipsychotic medications can be used to treat several kinds of mental health conditions.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Geodon
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- History of breast cancer
- History of irregular heartbeat
- History of stroke
- Liver disease
- Low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
- Low blood pressure
- Parkinson's disease
- Suicidal thoughts, plans or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- An unusual or allergic reaction to ziprasidone, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with water. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not cut, crush, or chew this medication. Swallow the capsules whole. Take it with food. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
- Arsenic trioxide
- Certain antibiotics like gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin
- Certain medications for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, dofetilide, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol
- Dextromethorphan; quinidine
- Other medications that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Antihistamines for allergy, cough, and cold
- Certain medications for anxiety or sleep
- Certain medications for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
- General anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
- Levodopa or other medications for Parkinson's disease
- Medications for blood pressure
- Medications for seizures
- Medications that relax muscles for surgery
- Narcotic medications for pain
- Phenothiazines like perphenazine, prochlorperazine, trifluoperazine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice. You may develop a severe reaction. Your care team will tell you how much medication to take.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medication. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
This medication may increase blood sugar. Ask your care team if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.
This medication can cause problems with controlling your body temperature. It can lower the response of your body to cold temperatures. If possible, stay indoors during cold weather. If you must go outdoors, wear warm clothes. It can also lower the response of your body to heat. Do not overheat. Do not over-exercise. Stay out of the sun when possible. If you must be in the sun, wear cool clothing. Drink plenty of water. If you have trouble controlling your body temperature, call your care team right away.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your care team if the problem does not go away or is severe.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)—increased thirst or amount of urine, unusual weakness or fatigue, blurry vision
- High fever, stiff muscles, increased sweating, fast or irregular heartbeat, and confusion, which may be signs of neuroleptic malignant syndrome
- High prolactin level—unexpected breast tissue growth, discharge from the nipple, change in sex drive or performance, irregular menstrual cycle
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
- Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
- Pain or trouble swallowing
- Prolonged or painful erection
- Rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
- Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
- Uncontrolled and repetitive body movements, muscle stiffness or spasms, tremors or shaking, loss of balance or coordination, restlessness, shuffling walk, which may be signs of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS)
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Upset stomach
- Weight gain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
- Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, take the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy