Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death compared with placebo. Although the causes of death in clinical trials were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (eg, heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (eg, pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. It is unclear from these studies to what extent the mortality findings may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to patient characteristics. Loxapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis .
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antipsychotic
Chemical Class: Dibenzoxazepine
Uses For This Medicine
Loxapine is used to treat a condition called schizophrenia. Loxapine should not be used to treat behavioral problems in older adult patients who have dementia.
Loxapine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For loxapine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to loxapine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of loxapine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of loxapine in geriatric patients. However, elderly patients (especially females) are more likely to have tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder), which may require caution in patients receiving loxapine.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking loxapine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using loxapine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using loxapine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Belladonna Alkaloids
- Chloral Hydrate
- Methylene Blue
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Nitrous Oxide
- Opium Alkaloids
- Secretin Human
- Sodium Oxybate
- Tolonium Chloride
Using loxapine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Betel Nut
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of loxapine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Blood or bone marrow problems (eg, leukopenia, neutropenia) or
- Breast cancer, prolactin-dependent or
- Glaucoma or
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Hyperprolactinemia (high prolactin in the blood) or
- Liver disease or
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), history of or
- Seizures, history of or
- Urinary retention (trouble passing urine)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Bowel blockage or
- Brain tumor—Loxapine may mask symptoms in patients with these conditions.
- Coma or
- Depression, severe and caused by medicines—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper Use of This Medicine
Take loxapine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
To use the oral liquid:
- Measure the medicine only with the measuring dropper provided.
- Mix the medicine with orange juice or grapefruit juice before drinking.
The dose of loxapine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of loxapine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For schizophrenia:
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
- Adults—At first, 20 to 50 milligrams (mg) per day, divided and given in two to four doses per day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 250 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For oral dosage form (Loxitane® capsules and solution):
- Adults—At first, 10 milligrams (mg) 2 times a day. Some patients may need 50 mg per day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 250 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
If you miss a dose of loxapine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure loxapine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Do not stop taking loxapine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping completely. This will allow your body time to adjust and to keep your condition from becoming worse.
Check with your doctor before using loxapine with alcohol or other medicines that affect the central nervous system (CNS). The use of alcohol or other medicines that affect the CNS with loxapine may worsen the side effects of loxapine, such as dizziness, poor concentration, drowsiness, unusual dreams, and trouble with sleeping. Some examples of medicines that affect the CNS are antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicines, medicine for depression, medicine for anxiety, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics.
Loxapine may cause tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder). Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking loxapine: lip smacking or puckering, puffing of the cheeks, rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue, uncontrolled chewing movements, or uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs.
Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while using loxapine: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
Loxapine may cause blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble with thinking, trouble with controlling body movements, or trouble with your vision, which may lead to falls, fractures or other injuries. Make sure you know how you react to loxapine before you drive, use machines, or do other jobs that require you to be alert, well-coordinated, or able to think or see well.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
Loxapine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever, chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want your eyes be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Loxapine may cause dry mouth. For temporary relief, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if your mouth continues to feel dry for more than 2 weeks, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental diseases, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.
Loxapine may increase prolactin blood levels if used for a long time. Check with your doctor if you have breast swelling or soreness, unusual breast milk production, absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods, stopping of menstrual bleeding, loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance, decreased interest in sexual intercourse, or an inability to have or keep an erection.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines) and herbal or vitamin supplements.
This Medicine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Difficulty with speaking or swallowing
- lip smacking or puckering
- loss of balance control
- mask-like face
- puffing of the cheeks
- rapid or fine, worm-like movements of the tongue
- restlessness or desire to keep moving
- shuffling walk
- slowed movements
- stiffness of the arms and legs
- trembling and shaking of the fingers and hands
- uncontrolled chewing movements
- uncontrolled movements of the arms or legs
- Constipation (severe)
- difficult urination
- inability to move the eyes
- muscle spasms, especially of the neck and back
- skin rash
- twisting movements of the body
- Difficult or fast breathing
- fast heartbeat or irregular pulse
- fever (high)
- high or low blood pressure
- increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
- increased sweating
- loss of bladder control
- muscle stiffness (severe)
- sore throat and fever
- uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual facial expressions or body positions
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusually pale skin
- yellow eyes or skin
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
- Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when suddenly getting up from a lying or sitting position
- drowsiness (severe)
- irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
- loss of consciousness
- muscle trembling, jerking, stiffness, or uncontrolled movements (severe)
- pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- troubled breathing (severe)
- unusual tiredness or weakness (severe)
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Blurred vision
- dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
- dryness of the mouth
- Constipation (mild)
- decreased sexual ability
- enlargement of the breasts (males and females)
- increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
- missing menstrual periods
- nausea or vomiting
- trouble with sleeping
- unusual secretion of milk
- weight gain
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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