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Drug Guide    F   FazaClo

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   FazaClo

FazaClo
Oral


This medication is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders). Clozapine is a psychiatric medication (anti-psychotic type) that works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.Clozapine decreases hallucinations and helps prevent suicide in people who are likely to try to harm themselves. It helps you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less nervous, and take part in everyday life.

 
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 FazaClo images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
FazaClo

Uses
This medication is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders). Clozapine is a psychiatric medication (anti-psychotic type) that works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.Clozapine decreases hallucinations and helps prevent suicide in people who are likely to try to harm themselves. It helps you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less nervous, and take part in everyday life.
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory tests (e.g., blood tests) should be performed weekly for the first 6 months of treatment.
  • During the next 6 months, they should be performed at least every 2 weeks.
  • After that, they should be performed regularly no less often than once a month while you are on clozapine and for at least 4 weeks after you stop taking it.
  • Your testing schedule may be changed if you develop a low white blood cell count, or if your treatment is interrupted.
  • Your doctor may also order liver function tests and blood sugar tests from time to time.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

Storage
  • Store at room temperature no higher than 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Store the dissolving tablets at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in their blister packets, and do not remove each dose until immediately before taking.
  • Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.


How To Use
  • Take this medication by mouth with or without food, as directed by your doctor.
  • If you are taking the tablets that dissolve in the mouth, carefully remove each tablet from the blister pack immediately before taking your dose.
  • Allow the tablets to dissolve on your tongue and swallow.
  • You do not need to take the dissolving tablets with water.
  • Discard any dissolving tablets that have been previously exposed to air due to opened/damaged packaging.
  • Do not save them for your next dose.It is important to begin taking this drug at a low dose, increasing your dose slowly, to lessen side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness and seizures.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions exactly.
  • Your dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
  • Since clozapine can cause a decrease in white blood cells, you will need to get blood tests done regularly as directed.
  • Be sure to keep all appointments for these laboratory tests.If you miss your doses for longer than a day or two, consult your doctor for a new schedule to get back to the dose you were on (see Missed Dose section).
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.Do not stop taking clozapine without consulting your doctor.
  • Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped.
  • Your dose may need to be gradually decreased if the doctor decides that you should stop taking this medication.It may take several weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Side Effects
  • Drooling, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, shaking (tremor), vision problems (e.g., blurred vision) and constipation may occur.
  • Many of these effects (especially drowsiness) lessen as your body gets used to the medication.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise.
  • If you become constipated while using this drug, consult your pharmacist for help in selecting a laxative (e.g., stimulant-type with stool softener).Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: facial/muscle twitching, signs of infection (e.g., severe tiredness, fever, persistent sore throat), seizures, uncontrollable movements, change in the amount of urine.Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: high fever, fast/irregular heartbeat, muscle stiffness, mental/mood changes, difficulty breathing with exercise, swollen legs/feet, sudden weakness, pain/redness/swelling of the arms/legs, chest pain, dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs.
  • Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • See also Warning section.Before taking clozapine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.
  • Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: history of blood disorders (e.g., leukemia, low white blood cell count), history of blood disorders caused by clozapine, serious bowel problems (e.g., paralytic ileus), seizures not controlled by medication.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bowel problems (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome), breathing problems, diabetes/family history of diabetes, glaucoma, heart problems, kidney problems, liver problems, obesity/family history of obesity, seizures, difficulty urinating (e.g., prostate problems).This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages.To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.Tell your doctor if you are a descendent of Ashkenazi Jews because you may be at a higher risk for a drop in your white blood cells.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.The rapidly dissolving form of this drug may contain aspartame or phenylalanine.
  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to restrict your intake of aspartame (or phenylalanine), consult your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of this medicine.This drug may infrequently make your blood sugar level rise, causing or worsening diabetes.
  • This high blood sugar can rarely cause serious conditions such as diabetic coma.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst or urination.
  • If you already have diabetes, be sure to check your blood sugar regularly.This drug may also cause significant weight gain.
  • These effects, along with diabetes, may increase your risk for developing heart disease.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor.The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially side effects such as constipation and low blood pressure.This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This medication may pass into breast milk and have undesirable effects on a nursing infant.
  • Breast feeding is not recommended while taking clozapine.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • If you miss doses for longer than a day or two, consult your doctor for a new schedule to get back to the dose you were taking.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.This drug should not be used with the following medication because a very serious interaction may occur: sibutramine.If you are currently using the medication listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting clozapine.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: antispasmodic or drying medications (e.g., anticholinergics such as belladonna alkaloids), benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, clonazepam, diazepam), carbamazepine, certain antidepressants (e.g., citalopram, SSRIs-especially fluvoxamine), lithium, medications for high blood pressure (e.g., beta blockers such as propranolol, water pills such as furosemide, ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril), drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove clozapine from the body (such as azole antifungals including itraconazole, macrolide antibiotics including erythromycin, tobacco and other nicotine-containing products, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, rifampin, certain anti-seizure medicines including phenytoin, antiarrhythmics such as propafenone/flecainide/quinidine).Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medications or treatment that may decrease your blood cell count such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or medications for autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (e.g., methotrexate, azathioprine).Also report the use of drugs which might increase seizure risk (decrease seizure threshold) when combined with clozapine such as isoniazid (INH), phenothiazines (e.g., thioridazine), theophylline, or tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), among others.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., valproate), medicines for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, trazodone).Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients.
  • Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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