Fanapt is a medication licensed to treat schizophrenia. This prescription medication works by blocking or lessening the effects of certain chemicals in the brain, which may become elevated in people with schizophrenia. The drug comes in tablet form and is usually taken twice a day. As with any medicine, there are possible side effects, such dizziness, fatigue, and weight gain.
(Click Fanapt Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes Fanapt?
Fanapt is made by Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
How Does It Work?
Fanapt belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known how Fanapt works for the treatment of schizophrenia. However, it is known that the drug blocks or lessens the effects of certain chemicals in the brain. These brain chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) may be elevated in people with schizophrenia.
This medication has been thoroughly evaluated in clinical studies. These studies compared Fanapt to a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients) or other antipsychotic medications to treat acute schizophrenia.
Although this product was more effective than a placebo, it seemed to be less effective (at least early on) compared to certain other antipsychotics. It is thought that this is probably due to the fact that Fanapt must be started at a low dose (and the dosage must be slowly increased).
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 9, 2012.
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