Lurasidone belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotics. It is taken once daily.
Keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be checked.
The most common side-effects include feeling restless and feeling sleepy.
|Type of medicine||An antipsychotic medicine|
|Used for||Schizophrenia in adults|
Lurasidone 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 lurasidone 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. Lurasidone will help to ease these symptoms.
Before taking lurasidone
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 lurasidone 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 a condition which causes muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
- 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).
- 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 lurasidone
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about lurasidone and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- The recommended starting dose for adults is usually one 37 mg tablet, taken once daily. Your dose, however, may be adjusted to suit your condition and any other medicines you are taking, so it may be different to this. The directions for taking the tablets will be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
- Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water - do not chew or break the tablet before you swallow as it has a bitter taste.
- You should take lurasidone with a meal, or soon afterwards. This is important because if you take the tablet before a meal, less of the medicine will be absorbed by your body and this will make it less effective.
- Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are on lurasidone. This is because a chemical in grapefruit is likely to increase the amount of lurasidone in your bloodstream and make side-effects more likely.
- Try to get into the habit of taking your doses at the same time of day each day. This will help you to remember to take it regularly. If you do forget to take a dose, take it (with a snack) as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day then skip the missed dose but remember to take the dose that is due on that day. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a forgotten 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 lurasidone. Remember to keep your regular doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
- Treatment with lurasidone is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Keep taking it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Stopping lurasidone 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. Alcohol increases the risk of side-effects from lurasidone so it is best avoided.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as lurasidone may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will advise you about this.
- Some medicines similar to lurasidone 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.
- A small number of people taking medicines for mood disorders can have thoughts about harming themselves or ending their lives, particularly when a new medicine is started. It is very important that you tell your doctor about this if it happens to you.
- If you are having an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking. This is important because lurasidone may interfere with any anaesthetic you receive.
- If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines or herbal remedies, please check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with lurasidone. This is because lurasidone can interact with a number of other medicines, including a herbal remedy for depression, called St John's wort.
Can lurasidone 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 lurasidone. 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 lurasidone side-effects (these affect more than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sleepy, or restless||Speak with your doctor about this. Do not drive or use tools or machines while affected|
|Common lurasidone side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling dizzy or tired||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Feeling or being sick, indigestion||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Unusual or uncontrollable muscle movements||Speak with your doctor about these|
|Increased weight, difficulties sleeping, feeling anxious or agitated, increased amounts of saliva, muscle aches and pains||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 tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store lurasidone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
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, Latuda® 18.5 mg, 37 mg and 74 mg film-coated tablets; Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 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