Studies have shown that older adults with dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and that may cause changes in mood and personality) who take antipsychotics (medications for mental illness) such as lurasidone have an increased chance of death during treatment. Older adults with dementia may also have a greater chance of having a stroke or ministroke during treatment with antipsychotics.
Lurasidone is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of behavior disorders in older adults with dementia. Talk to the doctor who prescribed this medication if you, a family member, or someone you care for has dementia and is taking lurasidone. For more information visit the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Lurasidone is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Lurasidone is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.
How should this medicine be used?
Lurasidone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with a meal (at least 350 calories) once a day. Take lurasidone at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take lurasidone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Lurasidone controls schizophrenia but does not cure it. It may take several weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of lurasidone. Continue to take lurasidone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking lurasidone without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking lurasidone,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lurasidone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in lurasidone tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking ketoconazole (Nizoral) or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take lurasidone if you are taking either of these medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; antihistamines; carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Taztia, Tiazac, others); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, others); indinavir (Crixivan); ipratropium (Atrovent, in Combivent, in Duoneb); itraconazole (Sporanox); medications to control anxiety, sedatives, sleeping pills, or tranquilizers; medications to control blood pressure; medications for glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease, motion sickness, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems; nefazodone; nelfinavir (Viracept); phenobarbital; phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); pioglitazone (Actos, in Duetact, in Actoplus Met); rifabutin (Mycobutin); ritonavir (Norvir); or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin,Verelan, others, in Tarka). Other medications may also interact with lurasidone, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. Johns wort.
- tell your doctor if you use or have ever used street drugs or have overused prescription medications and if you have or have ever had a stroke; a ministroke (TIA); chest pain, heart disease, or a heart attack; an irregular heartbeat; seizures; breast cancer; any condition that makes it difficult for you to swallow; high or low blood pressure; a high level of fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) in your blood; a low number of white blood cells; kidney or liver disease; high blood sugar; or if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had diabetes. Tell your doctor if you have severe vomiting or diarrhea or signs of dehydration now, or if you develop these symptoms at any time during your treatment. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had to stop taking a medication for mental illness because of severe side effects.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking lurasidone, call your doctor. Lurasidone may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking lurasidone.
- you should know that lurasidone may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate hazardous machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- you should know that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. Do not drink alcohol while taking lurasidone.
- you should know that you may experience hyperglycemia (increases in your blood sugar) while you are taking this medication, even if you do not already have diabetes. If you have schizophrenia, you are more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not have schizophrenia, and taking lurasidone or similar medications may increase this risk. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while you are taking lurasidone: extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, or weakness. It is very important to call your doctor as soon as you have any of these symptoms, because high blood sugar can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis may become life-threatening if it is not treated at an early stage. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include: dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, breath that smells fruity, and decreased consciousness.
- you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways, including suicidal thoughts (thinking about harming or killing oneself or planning or trying to do so). You or a family member or caregiver should call your doctor right away if you have thoughts about harming or killing yourself, or you plan or try to do so.
- you should know that lurasidone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking lurasidone. To help avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
- you should know that lurasidone may make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. Tell your doctor if you plan to exercise or be exposed to extreme heat.
- you should know that lurasidone may cause an increase in weight. It is important to have your weight checked periodically while you are taking this medication.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Lurasidone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- slow movements or shuffling walk
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- increased saliva
- breast enlargement or discharge
- late or missed menstrual period
- decreased sexual ability
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- shortness of breath
- abnormal heartbeat
- sore throat, fever, cough, chills, and other signs of infection
- fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness
- unusual movements of your face or body that you cannot control
Lurasidone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to lurasidone.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.