Please consult your physician before taking any medication. Ziprasidone is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). It is also used to treat episodes of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited or irritable mood) or mixed episodes (symptoms of mania and depression that occur at the same time) in patients with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder, a disease that causes episodes depression, mania, and other abnormal moods). Ziprasidone is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain. How is this medicine? . Ziprasidone comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day with food. Take ziprasidone at the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use the medication exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may start you on a low dose of medication and gradually increase. Ziprasidone may help control your symptoms but will not cure their disorders. Continue with the medication even if you feel better and do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor. What other uses for this medicine Return to top. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; more information ask your doctor or pharmacist. What special precautions should I follow? Return to top. Before taking ziprasidone: • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ziprasidone or any other drugs. • tell your doctor if you are taking amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), cisapride (Propulsid) (not available in the U.S.), disopyramide (Norpace), dofetilide (Tikosyn), dolasetron (Anzemet), droperidol ( Inapsine), erythromycin (EES, E-Mycin, Erythrocin), gatifloxacin (Tequin) (not available in the U.S.), halofantrine (Halfan) (no longer available in the U.S.), levomethadyl (ORLAAM) (no longer available in United States), mefloquine (Lariam), mesoridazine (Serentil) (no longer available in the U.S.), moxifloxacin (Avelox), pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam 300), pimozide (Orap), procainamide (Procanbid, Promine, Pronestyl), quinidine (Quinidex), sotalol (Betapace), sparfloxacin (Zagam), tacrolimus (Prograf), or thioridazine (Mellaril). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products manufactured are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the following: antidepressants; certain antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and voriconazole (Vfend); aprepitant (Emend); carbamazepine (Tegretol); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); delavirdine (Rescriptor); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others); diuretics; dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine (Parlodel), cabergoline (Dostinex), levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa), pergolide (Permax), and ropinirole (Requip); efavirenz (Sustiva); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem); fluvoxamine (Luvox); inhibitors of HIV protease including atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase Invirase); hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, and injections); lovastatin (Mevacor, in Advicor); medications for anxiety, high blood pressure or seizures; nefazodone; sertraline (Zoloft); sleeping pills; tranquilizers; troleandomycin (TAO); (No longer available in the U.S.); verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); and zafirlukast (Accolate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. • tell your doctor if you use or have ever used street drugs or have overused prescription medications or if you have recently had a heart attack, or difficulty swallowing. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart or liver disease, breast cancer, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, stroke or mini-stroke or seizures, or if you or someone in your family has or have ever had diabetes. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had to stop taking a medication for mental illness because of severe side effects. • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last months of pregnancy, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking ziprasidone, call your doctor. Ziprasidone may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy. • you should know that ziprasidone may cause drowsiness (sleep). Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. • you should know that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug. Do not drink alcohol while taking ziprasidone. • you should know that you may experience hyperglycemia (increases in your blood sugar) while taking this medication even if you have diabetes. If you have schizophrenia, you are more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not have schizophrenia, and taking ziprasidone or similar medications may increase this risk. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while taking ziprasidone: extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, or weakness. It is very important to call your doctor as soon as any of these symptoms are present because if the level of high blood sugar is not treated can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis can be life threatening if not treated in the early stages. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include: dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, fruity odor on the breath and decreased consciousness. • you should know that this drug may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly. This is more common when you first start taking the medicine. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up. • you should know that ziprasidone reduces transpiration and makes it harder for the body to cool down when the temperature rises. Tell your doctor if you plan to do vigorous exercise or be exposed to excessive heat.