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Loxapine is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (such as schizophrenia). This medicine helps you to think more clearly, feel less nervous, and take part in everyday life. It can reduce aggression and the desire to hurt yourself/others. It may also help to decrease hallucinations (such as hearing/seeing things that are not there). Loxapine is a psychiatric medication (antipsychotic type) that works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (such as dopamine) in the brain.
Take this medication by mouth, usually 2 to 4 times daily with or without food or exactly as directed by your doctor.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/dropper and mix it in liquid or soft food (such as applesauce, pudding) just before taking. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects such as drowsiness and shaking (tremor), your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Although you may notice some improvement in your symptoms soon after starting this medication, it may take several weeks to months before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as uncontrolled movements. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms right away.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
See also Warning section.
Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, constipation, dry mouth, weight gain, or blurred vision may occur. If any of 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.
This drug may cause muscle/nervous system problems (extrapyramidal symptoms-EPS). Your doctor may prescribe another medication to lessen these side effects. Therefore, tell your doctor right away if you notice any of the following side effects: stiff muscles, severe muscle spasms/cramping (such as twisting neck, arching back, eyes rolling up), restlessness/constant need to move, shaking (tremor), slow/shuffling walk, drooling/trouble swallowing, mask-like expression of the face.
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.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bruising/bleeding, fainting, depression/suicidal thoughts, difficulty urinating, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), seizures, severe stomach/abdominal pain.
This medication may cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any involuntary/repetitive muscle movements such as lip smacking/puckering, tongue thrusting, chewing, or finger/toe movements.
In rare cases, loxapine may increase your level of a certain chemical 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.
This medication may rarely cause a very serious 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).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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.
See also Warning section.
Before taking this medication, 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.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood problems (such as low red/white/platelet blood cell counts), a certain eye condition (glaucoma), heart problems (such as fast/irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure), liver disease, a brain disorder/tumor/injury, drug/alcohol/substance abuse, breast cancer, Parkinson's disease, seizures, a certain severe reaction to other antipsychotic-type medications (neuroleptic malignant syndrome-NMS), difficulty urinating (such as due to prostate problems).
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. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
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.
Before having surgery or imaging procedures (such as certain X-rays, CT scans) requiring the use of contrast dye (such as metrizamide), tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication and about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication may make you sweat less, making you more likely to get heat stroke. Avoid doing things that may cause you to overheat, such as hard work or exercise in hot weather, or using hot tubs. When the weather is hot, drink a lot of fluids and dress lightly. If you overheat, quickly look for a place to cool down and rest. Get medical help right away if you have a fever that does not go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), and tardive dyskinesia (TD) (see Side Effects). 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.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Discuss the risk and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
See also How To Use section.
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: metoclopramide, certain drugs used for Parkinson's disease (such as bromocriptine, levodopa, pergolide).
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.
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. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: slow/shallow breathing, inability to wake up (coma).
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as eye examinations, complete blood count) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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