Ziprasidone is a medicine licensed for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults. Although it cannot cure either condition, the medication can improve symptoms and help prevent them from returning. Ziprasidone, which comes in capsule form and is available by prescription, is usually taken twice daily. Possible side effects include drowsiness, weight gain, headaches, and dizziness.
Ziprasidone belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known how the medication works for the treatment of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, it is known to block or lessen the effects of several chemicals in the brain. These chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, may be elevated in people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression).
In previous clinical studies of ziprasidone for the treatment of schizophrenia, people taking the medication experienced improvements in their schizophrenia symptoms, including hallucinations and suspiciousness, compared to those not taking it. Longer studies also showed that ziprasidone can help symptoms from returning.
Previous clinical studies have also shown ziprasidone to be effective for bipolar disorder treatment. In these studies, the drug was effective for treating episodes of mania or mixed episodes, which involve symptoms of both mania and depression.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
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