Amisulpride belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotics. It is used to ease the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be checked.
The most common side-effects include feeling shaky or restless.
|Type of medicine||An antipsychotic medicine|
|Used for||Schizophrenia in adults|
|Available as||Tablets and oral liquid medicine|
Amisulpride belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotics. These medicines work on the balance of chemical substances in the brain.
You will have been prescribed amisulpride to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia, a mental health problem which affects your thoughts, feelings or behaviours. Symptoms of schizophrenia include hearing, seeing, or sensing things that are not real, having mistaken beliefs, and feeling unusually suspicious. Amisulpride will help to ease these symptoms.
Before taking amisulpride
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking amisulpride it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have a heart condition or blood vessel disease.
- If you have liver, kidney, or prostate problems.
- If you have any problems with your breathing.
- If you have any of the following: epilepsy, depression, Parkinson's disease, raised pressure in your eye (glaucoma) or myasthenia gravis - a condition which causes muscle weakness.
- If you have ever had yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice) or a blood disorder.
- If you have a tumour on your adrenal gland (a condition called phaeochromocytoma), or if you have been told you have 'a prolactin-dependent tumour'.
- If you have had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take amisulpride
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about amisulpride and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Your dose will be adjusted to suit your condition so take amisulpride exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is usual to be prescribed two doses to take each day (in the morning and evening), although lower doses can be taken just once a day. Your dose will be printed on the label of your pack to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
- Try to get into the habit of taking your doses at the same times each day, as this will help you avoid missing any. If possible, take your doses before a meal.
- If you have been given tablets, these are best swallowed with a drink of water. If you have any difficulties swallowing, let your doctor know so that you can be prescribed a liquid medicine instead.
- If you have been given liquid medicine, make sure you understand how to use the dose syringe to measure out your doses. Some syringes measure out the dose in milligrams (mg), others in millilitres (ml). Put the measuring syringe into the bottle and draw back the plunger of the syringe to the graduation mark equal to the amount of solution that corresponds to your dose. Swallow the solution with a non-alcoholic drink. If you are in any way unsure about measuring out your dose using the syringe, you can ask your local pharmacist to show you what to do.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- You will need to have some tests from time to time as your treatment will require careful monitoring to make sure that you get the best possible benefit from amisulpride. Remember to keep your regular doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
- Treatment with amisulpride is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Keep taking it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Stopping amisulpride suddenly can cause problems so your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually if this becomes necessary.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about drinking while you are on amisulpride. Alcohol increases the risk of side-effects so it is generally best avoided.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as amisulpride may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will advise you about this.
- Some medicines similar to amisulpride can cause the skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. It may be advisable to use a sunscreen in bright sunlight until you know how your skin reacts.
- If you are having an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking. This is important because amisulpride may interfere with any anaesthetic you receive.
- If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with amisulpride.
Can amisulpride cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with amisulpride. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Very common amisulpride side-effects (these affect more than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling shaky or restless||Speak with your doctor. You may be able to take another medicine to reduce these effects, or your treatment may need adjusting|
|Common amisulpride side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling dizzy or sleepy||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol|
|Feeling dizzy or light-headed when you stand up||Getting up more slowly may help|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Constipation||Drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced diet|
|Unusual or uncontrollable muscle movements||Speak with your doctor about these|
|Increases in weight, difficulty sleeping, feeling anxious or agitated, changes in sexual ability, breast pain, breast enlargement in men, abnormal breast milk production, menstrual problems, producing more saliva than usual||Discuss these with your doctor if any become troublesome|
Important: if you experience symptoms such as muscle stiffness, a very high temperature, feeling confused, a fast heartbeat and sweating, you should contact your doctor immediately. These can be signs of a rare but serious condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store amisulpride
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Check the expiry date on the bottle. Do not use any medicine beyond its expiry date.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Solian® tablets; Sanofi, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2015.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Solian® solution; Sanofi, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2014.
- British National Formulary; 69th Edition (Mar 2015) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr John Cox