What is Saphris?

Saphris is a medication known as an atypical antipsychotic that is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.

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

Saphris was first approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia in 2009.


Is there a generic version of Saphris?

No, there are no generic versions of the drug available for use in the United States.


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

Saphris belongs to the class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics or second generation psychotics. Atypical antipsychotics generally have fewer side effects than conventional antipsychotics. 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 Saphris?

The medication has not been approved for children or teens with schizophrenia, but the FDA recently approved use of the drug for treating bipolar disorder in pediatric patients ages 10 and older. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of using the medication, which may include increased suicidal thoughts.


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

There are hundreds of drugs which are known to interact with Saphris 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 antihypertensive drugs, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, dextromethorphan, anxiety medication, seizure medication, sedatives, and tranquilizers, among others.


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

Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Saphris, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or events, low white blood cell count, tardive dyskinesia, dementia, seizures, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), or a history of suicidal thoughts.


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

Dosages for the medication typically range between 5 and 10 mg taken twice daily.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of Saphris 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.


What side effects can Saphris cause?

The side effects of Saphris can include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in taste
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Increased saliva
  • Toothache
  • Join, arm, or leg pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of feeling in mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Decreased sexual ability


It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is also not recommend that people avoid alcohol and illegal drugs while on the medication, as they can worsen adverse effects. Report major side effects to your doctor immediately, which can include itching, rash, muscle pain, sweating, irregular heartbeat, trouble swallowing or breathing, confusion, fever, swelling, hoarse throat, wheezing, dizziness, seizures, uncontrollable movement, or discolored urine. 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 Saphris?

Your doctor should monitor for progression of potential long-term side effects, which can include tardive dyskinesia (TD). Atypical antipsychotics may also increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects, diabetes, weight gain, and high cholesterol.


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

There have been no controlled human pregnancy studies on the effects of Saphris, but animal studies have demonstrated risk and decreased birth weight. 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 Saphris.


Can symptoms occur if Saphris 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 Saphris can include vomiting, nausea, fever, headache, and dizziness.


What should I do if I overdose on Saphris?

An overdose of Saphris 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 agitation, confusion, and restless muscle movement.


Is Saphris habit-forming?
Saphris 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 Saphris cost?

According to goodrx.com, 30 orally disintegrating tablets of of 10 mg of Saphris cost approximately $600.


Are there any disadvantages to Saphris?

The biggest disadvantages of Saphris are potential side effects and the potential long-term side effects, which can include tardive dyskinesia.



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: Nov 25, 2018