What is this medication?

CLOZAPINE (KLOE za peen) is used to treat schizophrenia. This medicine is only used when others have not worked. It has a risk of serious side effects and is only available through a monitoring and dispensing system that includes special doctors, pharmacists, and laboratories. For the first few months of treatment, you will be required to have routine blood testing before your prescription can be refilled.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Clozaril

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

How should I use this medication?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. This medicine may be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine. You may need to gradually reduce the dose. Only stop taking this medicine on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine 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. If you miss your medicine for more than 2 days, you should not restart your medicine at the same dose. Contact your doctor for instructions.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

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 health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Tell your health care professional if symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. Do not stop taking except on your health care professional's advice. You may develop a severe reaction. Your health care professional will tell you how much medicine to take.

This medicine may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medicine. Contact your health care provider 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 medicine. 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 medicine, to make sure that you have never had a serious reaction to it.

This medicine can cause constipation. Talk to your health care provider 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 provider 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 drug 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 medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Do not treat yourself for colds, fever, diarrhea, or allergies. Ask your doctor or health care provider for advice, some nonprescription medicines may increase possible side effects.

This medicine may increase blood sugar. Ask your health care provider if changes in diet or medicines are needed if you have diabetes.

If you smoke, tell your doctor if you notice this medicine is not working well for you. Talk to your doctor if you are a smoker or if you decide to stop smoking.

If you are going to have surgery tell your doctor or health care provider that you are taking this medicine.

This drug 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 health care provider right away.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional 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.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine 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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