Skip to Content

Ziprasidone

Generic Name: ziprasidone (zi PRAY si done)
Brand Name: Geodon

Medically reviewed on November 13, 2017

What is ziprasidone?

Ziprasidone is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.

Ziprasidone is used to treat schizophrenia and the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.

Ziprasidone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use ziprasidone if you have a a heart rhythm disorder, a history of Long QT syndrome, uncontrolled heart failure, or if you have recently had a heart attack.

Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with ziprasidone, and should not be used at the same time. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Stop taking ziprasidone and call your doctor right away if you have a chest pain, severe dizziness, and a fast or pounding heartbeat. These could be signs of a serious heart rhythm problem.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have a new or worsening skin rash with fever or swollen glands.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to ziprasidone, or if you have:

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome;

  • uncontrolled or untreated heart failure; or

  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

Ziprasidone is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Ziprasidone may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Ziprasidone should never be taken together with any of the following drugs, or a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder could occur:

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that should not be taken at the same time as ziprasidone. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use.

To make sure ziprasidone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • any heart problems;

  • a heart attack or stroke;

  • a bone marrow or blood cell disorder;

  • breast cancer;

  • low blood levels of potassium or magnesium;

  • diabetes (ziprasidone may raise your blood sugar);

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • suicidal thoughts;

  • Alzheimer's disease;

  • trouble swallowing;

  • liver disease; or

  • kidney disease.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking ziprasidone, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.

It is not known whether ziprasidone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

Ziprasidone is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take ziprasidone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take ziprasidone in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medicine with food. Swallow the capsule whole.

While using ziprasidone, you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be checked.

If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking ziprasidone.

Use ziprasidone regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Do not stop using ziprasidone suddenly, even if you feel fine. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking ziprasidone?

While you are taking ziprasidone, you may be more sensitive to temperature extremes such as very hot or cold conditions. Avoid getting too cold, or becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking ziprasidone.

Ziprasidone may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how ziprasidone will affect you. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls, fractures, or other injuries.

Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.

Ziprasidone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes. This reaction may occur several weeks after you began using ziprasidone.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);

  • low white blood cell counts--sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, pain when swallowing;

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or

  • severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, agitation.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Ziprasidone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Schizophrenia:

Oral:
Initial dose: 20 mg orally twice a day
Maintenance dose: Adjust as clinically indicated at intervals of not less than 2 days
Maximum dose: 100 mg twice a day

Comments: A dose greater than 80 mg twice a day is generally not recommended.

Intramuscular:
Recommended dose: 10 to 20 mg IM; may repeat 10 mg IM every 2 hours or 20 mg IM every 4 hours up to maximum daily dose
Maximum dose: 40 mg IM per day
Duration of therapy: Use beyond 3 consecutive days has not been studied

Comments:
-Coadministration of IM ziprasidone to patient's already taking oral ziprasidone has not been studied and is not recommended.
-If long-term therapy is indicated, oral capsules should replace IM administration as soon as possible.

Uses:
-Treatment of schizophrenia (oral)
-Acute treatment of agitation in schizophrenia (IM)

Usual Adult Dose for Bipolar Disorder:

Acute Treatment of Manic or Mixed Episodes:
-Initial dose: 40 mg orally twice daily
-Increase dose to 60 mg or 80 mg twice daily on the second day; subsequently adjust dose based on tolerance and efficacy within the dose range of 40 to 80 mg orally twice a day
Maintenance Treatment (as adjunct to lithium or valproate):
-Once stabilized, continue on same dose within the range of 40 to 80 mg orally twice daily.

Comments:
-The mean ziprasidone dose administered in flexible-dose clinical trials was approximately 120 mg per day.
-Monotherapy has not been systematically evaluated for maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder.

Uses:
-As monotherapy for the acute management of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder
-As adjunct to lithium or valproate for the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder.

What other drugs will affect ziprasidone?

Taking ziprasidone with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Many drugs can interact with ziprasidone. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with ziprasidone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Hide