Treats schizophrenia. Also lowers the risk of suicidal behavior in patients who have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to clozapine. Do not use this medicine if you have taken clozapine before and it caused severe blood problems. Do not use this medicine if you have a bone marrow disorder, uncontrolled epilepsy, or a bowel blockage. This medicine should not be given to a person who is in a coma or has similar nervous system problems.
How to Use This Medicine
Liquid, Tablet, Dissolving Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help avoid constipation.
- If you are using the disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack that contains the tablet until you are ready to take it. Remove the tablet from the blister pack by peeling back the foil, then taking the tablet out. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet in your mouth. It should melt quickly. After the tablet has melted, swallow or take a drink of water. The disintegrating tablet may also be chewed.
- Shake the bottle of oral liquid for 10 seconds before each use. Measure the dose with the dosing syringe that comes with the package. Wash the oral syringe with warm water after using it.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
- If for any reason you stop taking clozapine for longer than 2 days, do not start back on the same dose. Ask your doctor how much you should take.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not refrigerate or freeze the oral liquid.
- Throw away any unused oral liquid 100 days after opening the bottle for the first time.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- There are many other drugs that can interact with clozapine. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use St John's wort, carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), ciprofloxacin (Cipro®), enoxacin (Penetrex®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), terbinafine (Lamisil®), or medicine to treat depression (such as amitriptyline, bupropion, citalopram, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, Celexa®, Effexor®, Elavil®, Luvox®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Zoloft®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use a diuretic (water pill, such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), medicine to lower blood pressure (such as amlodipine, atenolol, clonidine, lisinopril, metoprolol, Benicar®, Cozaar®, Diovan®), or medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, encainide, flecainide, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol, Cordarone®, Tambocor®, Tikosyn®).
- Tell your doctor if you also use arsenic trioxide (Trisenox®), cisapride (Propulsid®), dolasetron (Anzemet®), levomethadyl acetate, methadone (Dolophine®), pentamidine (Pentam®), probucol (Lorelco®), tacrolimus (Prograf®), certain antibiotics (such as erythromycin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, Avelox®, Zagam®), medicine to treat malaria (such as halofantrine, mefloquine, Lariam®), medicine to treat mental illness (such as chlorpromazine, droperidol, haloperidol, iloperidone, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, risperidone, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Inapsine®, Thorazine®), medicine to treat anxiety (such as alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, Valium®, Xanax®), medicine for nausea or vomiting (such as prochlorperazine, promethazine, Compazine®, Phenergan®), or birth control pills.
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
- Tell your doctor if you smoke tobacco or drink caffeine-containing products. Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have had neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease (including hepatitis), low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood, an enlarged prostate, or digestion problems such as constipation. Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, if you have ever had a head injury, or if you have a history of seizures.
- Contact your doctor right away if you have dizziness, fainting, or a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you have ever had a heart rhythm problem, such as QT prolongation, or if you or a family member has had a heart attack, heart failure, low blood pressure, or a stroke.
- Call your doctor right away if you have flu-like symptoms, sores in your mouth, sore throat, unusual tiredness or weakness, or a fever. These might be symptoms that your white blood cell count is low, which can increase your risk for infections.
- This medicine can cause drowsiness or seizures. Do not drive, climb, swim, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Stand or sit up slowly if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
- Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have chest pain or discomfort, a fast heartbeat, trouble breathing, a fever, or unusual tiredness or weakness. These can be symptoms of myocarditis, which is a serious heart problem.
- This medicine is approved only for patients who have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. This medicine is not approved for use in older people who have dementia, because it can increase the risk of death.
- Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever, sweating, unusual confusion, uneven heartbeat, or changes in your breathing. These could be symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
- Check with your doctor right away if you have jerky muscle movements in your face, tongue, jaw, or other muscles.
- Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, because this medicine may raise your blood sugar.
- Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria. The orally disintegrating tablet contains phenylalanine, which can make this condition worse.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.You might need to continue the blood tests even after you stop the medicine.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Chills, cough, body aches
- Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
- Fast or pounding heartbeat with tiredness, chest pain, fever, trouble breathing
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Increased thirst or hunger
- Jerky muscle movement that you cannot control, often in your face, tongue, or jaw
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- Muscle spasms in your neck or tongue, trouble swallowing
- Pain in your lower leg (calf)
- Sores in your mouth or sore throat
- Sweating, confusion, muscle stiffness
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Constipation, upset stomach
- Excess saliva or drooling
- Sleepiness or trouble sleeping
- Weight gain