Geodon – Information, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage


Drug Trade Name: Geodon

Category: Antipsychotics

Generic Name: ziprasidone hydrochloride

Introduction and Quick Information:


Geodon is prescribed to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a medical condition that causes loss of interest in life, unusual or disturbed thinking, inappropriate or strong emotion).  It is also used in the treatment of episodes of mania (irritated, frenzied or abnormally excited mood) in people with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder that causes episodes of mania, abnormal moods and other depression-related mental condition). Geodon belongs to a group of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. It acts by diverting or changing certain natural substance activity in the brain.

Is Geodon Approved by U.S. FDA?

United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Geodon on February 5, 2001for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Geodon is fifth atypical antipsychotic drug to get FDA approval.

Usage and Benefits of Geodon:

Geodon is a prescription medicine that has been approved to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Both these health conditions are known as mental illness and this includes abnormal thinking and behavior.

Geodon for Schizophrenia-Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is better known as a group of mental disorders. Exact cause of schizophrenia is still unknown or not fully understood. According to medical studies, certain environmental and genetic factors play a major role in developing this mental illness and group of mental disorders. Here are some schizophrenia symptoms:

  • Delusions
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • An inability to stay focused
  • Thought disorders
  • Disorders of movement
  • Speaking infrequently
  • Hallucinations
  • Problems with working memory
  • Poor executive functioning
  • Flat affect, monotonous voice, immobile facial expression

Geodon is prescribed to improve the above-mentioned symptoms of schizophrenia. It was also approved to prevent relapses of schizophrenia (worsening of this mental illness). But FDA has not approved Geodon as a cure for schizophrenia.

Geodon for Bipolar Disorder Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) is a severe brain illness or disease that causes extreme shifts in functioning, mood and energy. Bipolar disorder symptoms are severe and episodes of depression and mania may reappear throughout the affected patient’s lifespan. Geodon is prescribed to treat acute or mixed episodes of both depression and mania.  It is used for the treatment of severe condition of some other mental disorders.

Geodon Uses in Children– Geodon is not prescribed to treat bipolar disorder in children under the age of 18.

There may be some other uses of Geodon which have not been mentioned in this medication guide. Talk to your doctor to get full information regarding uses and benefits of this medicine. Geodon may also be used for other health condition not mentioned above.

Geodon Side Effects:

Geodon side effects can be quite dangerous and can worsen your condition for which you are taking this drug. Geodon is a strong drug and can only be prescribed by physicians or doctors. Patients who are taking Geodon for treating bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, often complain adverse reactions of this medicine.  However side effects do not bother everyone who takes this medicine because side effects of this medicine are highly dependent on patients’ mental and physical health which varies from person to person. Here are some medically Geodon side effects, such as-

  • Fast or Pounding heartbeat
  • Dizziness, Fainting, Drowsiness
  • Agitation, Hostility, Feeling light-headed
  • Confusion, Flu symptoms
  • Fever, Chills, Sweating
  • Stiff Muscles, Confusion
  • Fast or Uneven Heartbeats
  • Weakness, Extreme Hunger
  • Increased Thirst or Urination
  • Body aches, Penis erection that is painful
  • Restless muscle movements in jaw, neck, tongue, eyes
  • Tremor (uncontrolled shaking)
  • Anxiety, Headache
  • Loss of appetite, Vomiting, Nausea
  • Cough, Sore Throat, Muscle pain or Twitching
  • Depressed mood, Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Mild skin rash, Weight Gain
  • Signs of allergic reactions such as itching, wheezing, hives, unexplained rash, swallowing

This is not a complete list of Geodon side effects. In case of side effects, you should tell you doctor or seek medical emergency to prevent yourself from adverse reaction of side effects. Medical assistance is the only way to get rid of Geodon mild or severe side effects.

General Recommended Dosages of Geodon:

Geodon is a prescription medicine and its dosages vary and depend on a number of factors which are related to patient’s health and medical condition for which he or she is taking this medicine. The various factors are listed below:

  • severity of health condition
  • the health issues being treated
  • other health issues you may have
  • other medicine you are taking

Geodon dosages are different for both bipolar and schizophrenia and highly depend on patients’ current health condition.  Geodon comes in capsule form and this medicine is always advised to be taken with food as taking it on an empty stomach has shown lesser absorption of Geodon in the body.  Take Geodon as exactly as it was prescribed to you by your healthcare provider.  Talk to your doctor if you are unsure about Geodon benefits and associated health risk.

In Case I Miss The Dose?

Missed dose can worsen your condition especially if you have very severe bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Never take missed dose without consulting your doctor as you may need to reschedule your dosing. Do not take extra medicine to make up for this missed one as it could lead to overdose adverse reactions of Geodon.

In Case I Take Overdose?

An overdose of Geodon can lead to some health discomforts that can also affect your current health condition. Seek for immediate medical attention if you think you have taken a large amount of Geodon.

Drug Interactions of Geodon:

Drug interaction must be discussed before you start taking Geodon due to safety reasons.  There are certain drugs that can interact with Geodon and they can interfere with its functions.  Ask your healthcare provider to explain you associated risks and complications when other drugs interact with Geodon. Here are some common and medically known drug interactions of Geodon such as-

  • arsenic trioxide
  • tacrolimus
  • halofantrine
  • narcotic pain medications
  • carbamazepine
  • cisapride
  • medicines used to treat Parkinson’s Disease such as Larodopa
  • haloperidol
  • medicine to prevent or treat vomiting and nausea such as ondansetron, dolasetron
  • antibiotics such as moxifloxacin, pentamidine, erythromycin, clarithromycin, levofloxacin
  • migraine headache medicine such as zolmitriptan, sumatriptan
  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as pimozide, thioridazine, clozapine, haloperidol, chlorpromazine
  • heart rhythm medicine such as dofetilide, propafenone, sotalol, ibutilide, mefloquine, amiodarone, disopyramide, procainamide,
  • narcotic medication such as Methadose
  • anti-malaria medications such as Arelan

This is not a complete list of drug interaction of Geodon; there may be some other drugs that can potentially interact with Geodon. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines along with Geodon.  Tell your healthcare provider if you have been taking vitamin and herbal supplement and other prescribed or non prescribed medicines recommended by other doctor. Talk to your healthcare provider to explain the risk and health complications associated with this medicine.  Remember do not start taking any prescribed or non-prescribed medicines unless your doctor allows you to do so.

Life Style and Food Habits You Must Follow When On Geodon:

In certain cases, your healthcare provider can prescribe you a diet routine high in vital nutrients. Goedon is a strong drug that needs strict and healthy life style routine. If you are taking Geodon then you must follow every instruction given by your healthcare provider. Tell your doctor if you have any of these medical conditions such as:

  • Heart Rhythm Disorder
  • History of Heart Attack or Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Low Blood Levels of Potassium or Magnesium
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Seizures or Epilepsy
  • Trouble Swallowing
  • Kidney Disease
  • History of Bone Marrow or Blood Cell Disorder

Geodon is not prescribed in psychotic condition associated with dementia. This particular medication may cause heart failure, pneumonia, sudden death in aged adults with dementia associated health issues. If you have allergic reactions to Geodon, tell your doctor to find the alternative of this bipolar and schizophrenia medicine.

Geodon can lead to some severe health discomforts if you have any sign of hyperglycemia such as increased urination & thirst, weakness, excessive hunger etc.  If you are diabetic, go for regular blood sugar level check up while you are taking this medicine.

How Safe Is Geodon for Pregnant Women or Nursing Mothers?

It has been categorized in US FDA pregnancy category C. Taking any of antipsychotic medications (including Geodon) during last 3 months of pregnancy may lead to health complications in newborns such as breathing problems, tremors, stiff muscles, feeding problems, withdrawal symptoms etc. Also you may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop using Geodon during pregnancy. Do not stop taking this medicine without your healthcare provider’s advice if you become pregnant while you are on the medication. There is no known medical evidence that could show Geodon pass through human breast milk. However you should not breast-feed a baby without telling your doctor. Patients are more likely to face side effects in their later ages as compared to younger counterparts.

Complications and Conditions Possible Due to Prolonged Use of Geodon:

Like any other medicines or drugs, Geodon may also have adverse effects if one uses this medicine longer that recommended. Take this medicine as long as it has been prescribed for you to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. There is no sure medical evidence that Geodon has habit forming capabilities that is it may not be addictive. However if you have drug abuse/addiction then you should tell your doctor before you start taking this medicine as you may need a dose adjustment.

Availability of Geodon:

Geodon is available with doctor’s prescription only. You can buy this drug from government and FDA approved drug stores where you can get some additional information about this drug as well. Online drug stores are another available option to buy Geodon. Remember this medicine is not available without doctor’s prescription due to safety reasons.