Clozapine dosing guidelines consider several factors, such as if other medical conditions are present and if other medications are being taken. The recommended starting dose for treating schizophrenia is 12.5 mg, taken once or twice a day. Your healthcare provider may increase your clozapine dosage as long as you are tolerating the medication well. Clozapine dosing can be as high as 600 mg or 900 mg per day.
The dose of clozapine (Clozaril®, FazaClo®) that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may currently be taking.
As always, do not adjust your clozapine dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
The recommended starting dose of clozapine for schizophrenia is clozapine 12.5 mg (half of a 25-mg tablet), taken once or twice daily. If you tolerate the medication well, your healthcare provider may increase your dose slowly up to clozapine 300 mg to 450 mg total per day. Some people will need to take larger doses, up to clozapine 600 mg to 900 mg per day.
Because you will need frequent blood tests to check for dangerous clozapine side effects, your pharmacy will dispense only a certain number of tablets at a time. When you first start treatment, you will need a weekly blood test (and you will be given a week's supply of clozapine). As your treatment continues, the time in between blood tests can be extended (and you will be given a larger supply of clozapine tablets).
Considerations for people taking clozapine include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth one to three times a day.
- You can take clozapine with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
- Clozapine should be taken at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Clozapine will not work if you stop taking it.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or clozapine dosing in general, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the drug without first discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Clozapine Withdrawal).