What is Geodon?

Geodon is a medication known as an atypical antipsychotic that is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. The medication is also sometimes used to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder.

When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?

Geodon was first approved by the FDA in 2001.

Is there a generic version of Geodon?

Yes, ziprasidone is the generic version of Geodon and is available in the United States.

Are there any major differences between Geodon and other antipsychotics used to treat Geodon?

Geodon belongs to the class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics or second generation psychotics. It is available in tablet and intramuscular injection form. The drug is also used to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder. Talk to your doctor about what might work best for you and the costs and benefits of taking the medication. Some people may need to try several different antipsychotics before they find the most effective with the fewest side effects.

Can children take Geodon?

The safety and efficacy of the medication in persons younger than 18 has not been established.

Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Geodon and any other drugs?

There are hundreds of other drugs which are known to interact with Geodon in major, moderate, or mild ways. Some of these include amiodarone, arsenic trioxide, chlorpromazine, disopyramide, dofetilide, dolasetron, dronedarone, droperidol, halofantrine, ibutilide, mefloquine, moxifloxacin, pentamidine, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, tacrolimus, and thioridazine. Let your doctor know what other prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking before you begin taking the medication.

Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Geodon therapy?

Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Geodon, such as a prolonged QT interval, diabetes, dementia, seizures, low white blood cell count, high cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, a history of heart attack or stroke, breast cancer, heart disease, or liver disease. Also talk to your doctor if you have a history of substance abuse or any other mental health issues.

What is the typical starting dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Geodon?

The FDA recommends a starting dosage of 20mg twice a day for the treatment of schizophrenia. Safety and efficacy has not been established beyond a dosage of 100mg twice a day. Dosage may differ for the intramuscular injection version of the medication and for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of Geodon when you remember, but skip the missed dose if it it’s almost time for your next dose. You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.

Are there common side effects from taking Geodon?

Common side effects of Geodon can include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Late or missed menstrual periods
  • Breast enlargement or discharge
  • Decreased sexual ability.

Doctors recommend that you not drink alcohol while on the medication. It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Report major side effects to your doctor immediately, which can include rash or hives, peeling of skin, itching, irregular or fast heartbeat, swollen glands, mouth sores, fever, muscle stiffness, confusion, sweating, painful erection, uncontrollable facial or body movements, and loss of consciousness. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.

What are the potential long-term effects of taking Geodon?

Your doctor should monitor for progression of potential long-term side effect of Geodon, which can include changes in heart rhythm, weight gain, high blood sugar, and tardive dyskinesia.

Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Geodon?

There have been no controlled human pregnancy studies on the effects of Geodon. It is not known whether the drug can be transferred via human breast milk, but patients are advised not to breastfeed while taking the medication. Therefore,  if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing, talk to your doctor before you take Geodon.

Can symptoms occur if Geodon is discontinued?

It’s important not to discontinue use of the drug if you feel better. Withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, tremors, increased heart rate, headaches, dizziness, and the return of symptoms of schizophrenia. Maintain contact with your doctor and seek medical attention if necessary when discontinuing the drug, and talk to your doctor about how to mitigate potential withdrawal symptoms.

What should I do if I overdose on Geodon?

Seek immediate help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose, as it can be fatal. Symptoms may include restlessness, tremors, stiffness, sleepiness, nervousness, and changes in heartbeat.

Is Geodon habit-forming?
Geodon has no habit-forming potential, but it is not recommended that you discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.

How much does Geodon cost?

According to goodrx.com, 30 tablets of 40mg Geodon cost approximately $500. 30 tablets of 40mg generic ziprasidone cost approximately $154.

Are there any disadvantages to Geodon?

The biggest disadvantages of Geodon are the potential long-term side effects, which can include tardive dyskinesia, changes in heart rhythms, increased blood sugar, and weight gain.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider.  This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.

 

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Last Updated: Jul 7, 2017