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Ziprasidone, trade name Geodon, is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia normally taken orally although there is an intravenous variety for use with acute agitation in schizophrenics. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes disturbed thinking and a loss of interest in life. It can also trigger strong and inappropriate emotional reactions. Recently the drug was approved for use with mania (frenzied behavior) and mixed states (depression plus mania) associated with bipolar disorder. It can be used in combination with other drugs like lithium or valproate.
It works by changing the activity of certain naturally occurring substances found in the brain. Ziprasidone affects dopamine, serotonin and alpha-adrenergic receptors of the neurons. As with most psychotic drugs, the mechanisms which make it work are not entirely clear.
Ziprasidone will not cure the diseases it is designed to treat but rather reduce the negative symptoms of the disease.
There are side effects such as drowsiness, headache, restlessness, anxiety, constipation , diarrhea, loss of appetite, muscle pain, runny nose, cough and weight gain. There my be serious side effects as well which should be reported to a doctor immediately. These include involuntary movement of your face and body, irregular heartbeat, rash, fever, confusion, sweating or a painful erection that lasts for hours.
This drug is particularly bad for elderly patients and should not be taken off-label for dementia. You should also not take Ziprasidone if you have any kind of heart condition including recent heart attack or change in heart rhythm.
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