What is loxapine?

Loxapine is a medication that is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. It is classified as a conventional or typical antipsychotic. The medication helps rebalance dopamine in the brain and affects serotonin levels to improve mood, thoughts, and behaviors. Loxapine is the generic name of the drug, which is available in other brand names. It comes in tablet, capsule, and solution form.

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

Loxapine was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1975.

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

Typical antipsychotics like loxapine were the first generation of drugs used to treat schizophrenia. Typical antipsychotics tend to have more side effects, including long-term effects like tardive dyskinesia (TD). People are more frequently prescribed atypical antipsychotics, but a typical or conventional antipsychotic may work better for others. Talk to your doctor about the risks and check in frequently when taking the medication to monitor for current side effects and long-term risks such as tardive dyskinesia and irregular heartbeat.

Can children take loxapine?

Safety and efficacy for the drug in children has not been established.

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

It is recommended that you not take loxapine if you take metoclopramide, as a dangerous interaction effect could occur. There are also hundreds of drugs which are known to interact with loxapine in major, moderate, or mild ways, so let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before you begin taking the medication. Some of these include bromazepam, buproprion, carbamazepine, donepezil, filbanserin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, lithium, milnacipran, morphine, oxymorphone, sodium oxybate, suvorexant, and zotepine.

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

Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take loxapine, such as difficulty urinating, cancer, glaucoma, heart disease, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, seizures, or depression.

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

Loxapine is typically prescribed in an initial dose of 20 to 50 mg per day, divided into two to four doses. It is not recommended that dosage exceed 250 mg per day. Dosages, however, will be different for different patients, depending on their condition and the strength of the medication.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of loxapine 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.

How long does it take for loxapine to work?

It can take several weeks to determine whether the medication is right for you. Symptoms can improve within 1-2 weeks, and it can take 2-3 months to get the full benefits of the medication.

What are loxapine’s most common side effects?

Most common side effects of loxapine can include:

  • restlessness
  • uncontrolled movements
  • lack of balance
  • stiffness in limbs
  • shuffling walk
  • slower movement
  • shaking hands
  • puffing of cheeks
  • lip smacking.

If you experience any side effects, report them to your doctor. It is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Report major side effects immediately, which can include convulsions, difficulty breathing, sweating, confusion, fever, changes in blood pressure, loss of control over bladder, bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue, or yellowing of skin or eyes. 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 loxapine?

Your doctor should monitor for progression of potential long-term side effects, which can include tardive dyskinesia (TD). All antipsychotics are associated with increased risk of cardiac death due to irregular heartbeat, so your doctor may recommend an EKG.

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

There have been no controlled human pregnancy studies on the effects of loxapine. It is not known whether the drug can be transferred via breast milk and harm a baby. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take loxapine.

Can symptoms occur if loxapine is discontinued?

It’s important not to discontinue use of the drug if you feel better. Maintain contact with your doctor and seek medical attention if necessary when discontinuing the drug. Withdrawal symptoms of loxapine can include upset stomach, dizziness, shakiness, and diarrhea, as well as psychotic symptoms including delusions and hallucinations.

What should I do if I overdose on loxapine?

An overdose of loxapine could be fatal, so seek immediately help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose. Overdose symptoms can include trouble breathing, fatigue or drowsiness, trembling, stiffness, uncontrolled movement, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.

Is loxapine habit-forming?
Loxapine 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 loxapine cost?

Sixty capsules of 10 mg of generic loxapine cost approximately $40.

Are there any disadvantages to loxapine?

The biggest disadvantages of loxapine are the potential long-term side effects, which include tardive dyskesia and arrhythmia.

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 [link] site for a comprehensive list of warnings.




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Last Updated: Nov 25, 2018