(Column: Ask the Pharmacist)
Pfizer labs recently introduced a new medication to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, called Geodon. If you show a response to Geodon your symptoms may improve. If you continue to take the medication there is a less chance of your symptoms returning. Never stop taking Geodon, even when you feel better, without first speaking to your physician.
Geodon is generally well tolerated and is dosed between 20 mg and 160 mg daily depending on the patient's response. It has a very slow incidence of extrapyramidial symptoms. It's most common side effects are sleep disturbance, nausea & constipation. Geodon can cause a drop in blood pressure. This can cause dizziness. If this does occur be careful not to stand up to quickly as fainting may occur.
Geodon has been shown to be as effective as Zyprexa and Risperdal in treating schizophrenia but it may have a greater risk than these drugs because it can change the way the electrical current in your heart works. It only changes it slightly, and there is no proof that this is actually harmful but some other drugs that cause this type of change have sometimes caused rare but dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities. The risk of this problem may be enhanced by other medications you are taking. It is very important you tell your physician about all the medications you are taking.
Because of this risk, Geodon should only be used after your doctor has considered the risk for Geodon against the risks and benefits of other medications available to treat schizophrenia.