Generic Name: clozapine (KLOE za peen)Brand Names: Clozaril, FazaClo
Clozapine is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.
Clozapine is used to treat severe schizophrenia symptoms in people who have not responded to other medications. Clozapine is also used to help reduce the risk of suicidal behavior in people with schizophrenia or similar disorders.
Clozapine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
While you are taking clozapine, your blood may need to be tested every week for the first 6 months of treatment. Do not miss any scheduled blood tests.
Do not stop taking clozapine or change your dose without first talking to your doctor.Call your doctor if you have shortness of breath, swelling in your hands or feet, fever, sore throat, sudden numbness or weakness, sudden vision or speech problems, chest pain, cough, wheezing, pain or swelling in one or both legs, seizure, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).
There are many other medicines that can interact with clozapine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.
untreated or uncontrolled epilepsy;
paralytic ileus or intestinal blockage;
a history of infection while taking clozapine; or
if you are also using drugs that weaken your immune system (such as cancer medicine or steroids).
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before taking clozapine, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, heart rhythm disorder, high blood pressure, or a history of heart attack;
a history of bone marrow or blood cell disorders;
an enlarged prostate or urination problems.
Clozapine may raise your blood sugar, causing symptoms such as increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, drowsiness, nausea, or fruity breath odor. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.FDA pregnancy category B: This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use clozapine without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Clozapine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not use this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Clozapine orally-disintegrating tablets contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of clozapine if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Take clozapine exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Clozapine can be taken with or without food.Take the regular oral tablet (Clozaril) with a full glass of water.
The orally-disintegrating tablet (FazaClo) can be taken without water. Gently peel back the foil from the blister pack and drop the tablet onto your dry hand. Do not push tablet through the foil. Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
If your doctor has prescribed one-half of an orally-disintegrating tablet, you will need to break the tablet in half. Throw the other half away. Do not store it for later use.
While you are taking clozapine, your blood may need to be tested every week for the first 6 months of treatment. Do not miss any scheduled blood tests. After 6 months, blood tests may be needed less often.If you stop taking clozapine for more than 2 days in a row, call your doctor before you start taking it again. You may need a lower dose. Do not stop taking clozapine or change your dose without first talking to your doctor. If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using clozapine. Store clozapine at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep each FazaClo tablet in the unopened blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include confusion, fast heart rate, drowsiness, drooling, weak or shallow breathing, feeling like you might pass out, and seizure (convulsions).
feeling short of breath, even at night or with mild exertion;
swelling in your hands or feet;
fever, weakness, sore throat, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;
sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate, pain or swelling in one or both legs;
white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); or
seizure (black-out or convulsions).
Less serious side effects may include:
drooling, especially at night;
drowsiness, dizziness, spinning sensation;
sleep problems or nightmares; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before taking clozapine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane);
blood pressure medications;
heart rhythm medications such as propafenone (Rythmol) or flecaininde (Tambocor);
seizure medicine such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);
antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S, Ery-Tab);
atropine (Donnatal, and others), belladonna, clidinium (Quarzan), dicyclomine (Bentyl), scopolamine (Transderm-Scop); or
diazepam (Valium) or similar medicines such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), temazepam (Restoril), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with clozapine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.