Clozapine belongs to a class of medicine known as the second generation antipsychotics.
It is used to help treat symptoms of psychosis when other medicines have not worked. This includes but is not limited to symptoms of hallucinations, altered emotions, agitation and altered thought.
It may be given to you for other reasons. Do check with your doctor what you are taking this for.
Potential side effects
All medicines may cause side effects. However, many people do not experience them.
Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if they persist, become bothersome or worsen.
Increase your intake of fluids and include more fibre (vegetables and fruits) in your diet. Incorporate some exercise in your daily routine.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you require any laxatives.
Do not drive or operate any machinery.
Discuss with your doctor whether you can take your medicine at a different time of the day.
Serious side effects
If you experience signs of allergy such as rashes, swelling of lips/face/throat and difficulty breathing, stop this medicine immediately and seek medical attention.
If you have symptoms such as changes in weight, passing of large amounts of urine and feelings of thirst and hunger all the time while taking this medicine, consult your doctor.
In rare cases, Clozapine may cause a condition known as agranulocytosis (low levels of white blood cells in the blood). You will need to have regular blood tests while taking this medicine. If you experience symptoms such as persistent fever, mouth ulcers and/or a sore throat, seek medical attention immediately.
In rare cases this drug may also affect the heart. Inform your doctor if you develop new or worsening palpitations, chest discomfort or pressure and/or unexplained fatigue and breathlessness.
Seizures (fits) may occur rarely while taking this medicine.
Clozapine may cause unusual movements involving the face or tongue, muscle stiffness, shakiness and unsteadiness on your feet. Please notify your doctor if this happens after taking this medicine.
A condition known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome may occur rarely. Symptoms include but are not limited to fever, muscle rigidity, altered mental state/ consciousness and/or irregular blood pressure, heart rhythm and palpitations. If you develop any of these symptoms or other unexplained symptoms while taking this medicine, or require further information, consult your doctor.
Take note that the side effects listed here are not exhaustive. Do seek medical attention if you have other symptoms that you think may be related to this medicine.
What do I need to tell my doctor before I take this medicine?
This medicine may interact with a number of other medicines. Inform your doctor if you are taking or intend to start taking other medicines or supplements.
Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions on the medicine label or as advised by the pharmacist.
Clozapine may be taken with or without food.
This medicine may not have an effect immediately. It may take up to a few weeks before this medicine can exert its full effects. Continue taking it regularly to benefit from it.
Do not stop taking this medicine even after you feel better. Your symptoms may return if this medicine is stopped too early. Check with your doctor on the duration of treatment that is suitable for you.
Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly or change the dose without consulting your doctor. You may experience unpleasant side effects if this medicine is stopped suddenly.
Avoid taking alcohol while taking this medicine.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one at your usual timing.
Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
If you have missed your dose for 2 days or more, consult your doctor again on the dose that you should be started back on.
If you take more of this medicine than prescribed by your doctor, consult your doctor or health care professional immediately.
Throw away any unused or expired medicines. Consult your medical professional if you are unsure with respect to how to safely dispose of any excess medicines/expired medicines.
What are the things I need to know or look out for while taking this medicine?
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