Clozapine is a type of antipsychotic medication that treats mental health conditions like schizophrenia. It works by balancing levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These substances help regulate your mood. The brand name of this medication is Clozaril®.
CLOZAPINE (KLOE za peen) treats schizophrenia. It is prescribed when other medications have not worked or cannot be tolerated. It works by balancing the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain, substances that help regulate mood. It belongs to a group of medications called antipsychotics.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Clozaril
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. This medication may be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication. You may need to gradually reduce the dose. Only stop taking this medication on the advice of your care team.
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.
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. If you miss your medication for more than 2 days, you should not restart your medication at the same dose. Contact your care team for instructions.
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may also interact with the following:
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.
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 must have a weekly blood test when you first begin this medication. If your blood counts stay in the right range, your tests may be reduced after 6 months to every other week. Your name will go on a national registry of patients who take this medication, to make sure that you have never had a serious reaction to it.
This medication can cause constipation. Talk to your care team if you have bowel movements less often than usual or if you have less than 3 bowel movements per week. Call if stool is hard or dry, or if you have trouble passing gas. Contact your care team right away if you have nausea, vomiting, or stomach swelling or pain. Drink plenty of water.
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.
Do not treat yourself for colds, fever, diarrhea, or allergies. Ask your care team for advice, some nonprescription medications may increase possible side effects.
This medication may increase blood sugar. Ask your care team if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.
If you smoke, tell your care team if you notice this medication is not working well for you. Talk to your care team if you are a smoker or if you decide to stop smoking.
If you are going to have surgery tell your care team that you are taking this medication.
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.
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
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.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
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.
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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.