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Zuclopenthixol Decanoate - Injection

Pronunciation: zoo-kloh-pen-THICKS-ohl

Common Brand Name(s): Clopixol

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Warning

This medication may rarely cause a serious, possibly fatal condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness, severe tiredness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).

There may be a slightly increased risk of serious, possibly fatal side effects (such as heart failure, fast/irregular heartbeat, pneumonia) when this medication is used by older adults with dementia. This medication is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related behavior problems. Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication, as well as other effective and possibly safer treatments for dementia-related behavior problems, with the doctor.

Uses

This medication is a long-acting form of zuclopenthixol that is used to treat a certain mental/mood problem (chronic schizophrenia). Zuclopenthixol decanoate is usually used in patients who have benefited from regular doses of short-acting forms of zuclopenthixol and who may benefit from long-term (maintenance) treatment with less frequent dosing. Zuclopenthixol is a psychiatric medication (antipsychotic-type) that works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain (neurotransmitters).

This medication can improve the symptoms of schizophrenia, making it easier to function in everyday life. Some of the benefits of continued use of this medication include reduced episodes of hallucinations, delusions, or bizarre behaviors that occur in patients with schizophrenia.

How To Use

This medication is given by injection into a muscle usually by a health care professional. This medication is usually injected every 2 to 4 weeks or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Mark your calendar to help you remember when to receive your next dose.

This product does not work right away. It may take 1 to 2 weeks to notice an effect from this drug and up to 4 weeks to experience the full effect. For severe agitation or other symptoms, use a short-acting medication as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to take a medication by mouth or use a different injection until this medication starts to work.

Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually reduced.

Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, constipation, headache, dry mouth, blurred vision, difficulty urinating, tiredness, or pain/redness at the injection site may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Dizziness and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.

Tell your doctor promptly if any of these side effects occur: muscle spasm/stiffness, shaking (tremor), restlessness, mask-like facial expression, drooling. Your doctor may prescribe another medication for you to take with zuclopenthixol to decrease these side effects.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

In rare cases, zuclopenthixol may increase your level of a certain substance made by the body (prolactin). For females, this increase in prolactin may result in unwanted breast milk, missed/stopped periods, or difficulty becoming pregnant. For males, it may result in decreased sexual ability, inability to produce sperm, or enlarged breasts. If you develop any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.

For males, in the unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection (lasting more than 4 hours), stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems may occur.

This medication may rarely cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any uncontrollable facial/muscle twitching or movements such as tongue thrusting, chewing movements, unusual movements of the mouth/lips, or shaking.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • persistent nausea/vomiting
  • stomach/abdominal pain
  • yellowing eyes/skin

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:

  • slow heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • fainting
  • seizures

A very severe allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but get medical help right away if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using zuclopenthixol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • blood problems (e.g., low number of red cells, white cells, or platelets)
  • brain injury/tumor
  • narrow-angle glaucoma
  • a certain severe nervous system problem (severe CNS depression)
  • intoxication with alcohol/opioids/barbiturates/other depressants
  • certain adrenal gland problem (pheochromocytoma)

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • breast cancer
  • severe breathing problems (e.g., asthma, bronchitis)
  • slowed gut movement (e.g., chronic constipation, ileus, blockage)
  • heart problems (e.g., angina, irregular heartbeat)
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • certain muscle problem (myasthenia gravis)
  • neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Parkinson's disease
  • pituitary tumor
  • regular/heavy use of alcohol/sedatives
  • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • seizures
  • difficulty urinating (e.g., due to prostate problems)

Zuclopenthixol may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using zuclopenthixol, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:

  • certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
  • family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using zuclopenthixol safely.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Before having procedures with injected dye (e.g., certain X-ray procedures) or surgery, tell your doctor, radiologist, or dentist that you are using zuclopenthixol.

This medication can reduce sweating, making you more likely to get heatstroke. Avoid hard work and exercise in hot weather.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty urinating, and heart effects such as QT prolongation (see above). Drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely develop symptoms including muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn especially during their first month, tell the doctor right away.

Since untreated mental/mood problems (such as schizophrenia) can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.

This drug passes into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • anticholinergic medications (for example, antispasmodics such as belladonna alkaloids, scopolamine)
  • alpha blockers (e.g., doxazosin, prazosin, terazosin)
  • dopamine agonists (e.g., cabergoline, pergolide)
  • metoclopramide
  • piperazine
  • drugs for Parkinson's disease (e.g., levodopa and carbidopa, selegiline)
  • certain drugs for high blood pressure (methyldopa, guanethidine, guanadrel, hydralazine)

Many drugs besides zuclopenthixol may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), among others. Therefore, before using zuclopenthixol, report all medications you are currently using to your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., eye exams) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule.

If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist. For help between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m., call 1-800-332-1414 and press 2 for the Medication and Herbal Preparation Advice Line.

Storage

Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital and will not be stored at home.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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