Welcome to yet another installment of Medication Monday, the weekly series that offers a brief informative introduction to the various mental health medications that are currently available. This week we are talking about the atypical antipsychotic Geodon (Ziprasidone).
Geodon is used to treat certain behavioral disorders, namely schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Like most mental health medications, it acts on certain substances in the brain, restoring a natural balance and helping users live a more active life. Specifically, it can help reduce hallucinations, agitated behavior, and other common symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
However, it is not a cure. You should not stop taking this medication if you start feeling better. Nor should you stop it on your own accord if you start feeling worse. In fact, don’t stop it without talking to a medical professional such as your doctor or psychopharmacologist, that is probably easier to say.
This medication may also be used as an off-label treatment (meaning not approved by the FDA) for schizoaffective disorder. If your medical professional prescribes it for this reason, you should ask them to explain their reasoning and clearly explain any possible benefits or negatives to going off label. It doesn’t mean it is a bad thing, or that you aren’t treatable, but you should make sure you are well informed.
It is important to take this medication regularly, as missing doses may cause a relapse with one’s symptoms. Also, there are certain side effects users should know about. These include, but aren’t necessarily limited to cough, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, runny nose, and weakness. In rare situations, more serious side effects can occur. These include difficulty swallowing, muscle spasms, tremors, mood changes, vision changes, and interrupted breathing during sleep. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these while taking Geodon or if you have questions about them.
And lastly, my weekly reminder that Medication Monday is not meant as a substitute for medical advice, which is why I constantly stress talking to your doctor if you have any questions. Medication Monday is merely meant to be a brief informative guide to hopefully help users be more informed when they talk to their doctors, while also hopefully decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health medications.
If you have thoughts about a medication you would like to see featured on this series, feel free to drop me a line, either through the contact page above, or in the comment section below, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, thanks for reading.