Clozapine is a medication that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia. It is also sometimes used to treat bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Clozapine can be lifesaving for some people who have severe mental illness, but it can also cause serious side effects. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of clozapine therapy, as well as how to safely take this medication.
Why Clozapine Is Used?
Clozapine is a medication that is used to treat certain types of mental illness. It is also known as an atypical antipsychotic. This medication can help to improve thinking, mood, and behavior. It may also decrease the risk of suicide in people with mental illness.
The medication is very effective. However, it can also cause serious side effects. That is why it is important to work with a healthcare provider. In order to make sure that the benefits of taking clozapine outweigh the risks.
Several mental disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Chronic pain
- Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Clozapine is not a first line treatment for mental illness. This means that other medications should be tried first. If those do not work, then clozapine may be an option. The decision to use clozapine should be made by you and your healthcare provider.
How Does Clozapine Work?
The exact way that clozapine works is not known. It is thought to work by changing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters help to send messages between nerve cells in the brain.
Clozapine may help to improve symptoms by changing the levels of some neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. However, it works differently than other antipsychotic medications.
Though the medication is a very effective, it can have serious side effects. For this reason, it is usually only prescribed when other antipsychotics haven’t worked.
The dosage is mostly prescribed by the doctor. However, having complete information regarding the medication is important. Clozapine is available in different strengths, and the doctor will prescribe the one. That is most suitable for the patient.
The dosage may also be different for different people. It largely depending on their age, weight, and medical history. It is important to follow the dosage prescribed by the doctor. Do not increase or decrease the dosage without consulting a healthcare professional.
Clozapine should be taken orally, with or without food. It is important to take clozapine at the same time every day to maintain a consistent level. It should be taken as prescribed by the doctor. Do not skip doses or stop taking clozapine abruptly. As doing so, can lead to serious side effects.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Clozapine?
If you suddenly stop taking clozapine. There are many withdrawal symptoms. You may experience some or all of the symptoms. However, these symptoms can be mild to severe. To avoid such symptoms, you must talk to your doctor. Do not stop taking clozapine without talking to your doctor first.
Such risks in sudden withdrawal includes: Dizziness, Headache, Confusion, Tremor, Sweating, Sleep problems (insomnia), and irritability. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. Withdrawal from clozapine should be gradual. Your doctor will probably tell you to take your last dose of clozapine at bedtime.
Taking clozapine is a big decision. You should weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication can save your life but it also has potential risks. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the possible side effects. And, also before withdrawing. You must concern to professional.
Things To Avoid While Taking Clozapine
There are certain things you should avoid while taking clozapine. These include:
- Certain foods and drinks
- Moderate or high intensity exercise
- Sun exposure
You should also avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and dress in cool, loose clothing. Avoid strenuous activity, especially in hot weather.
Be sure to take your clozapine at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level in your blood. If you have any questions or concerns about what you should or shouldn’t. Consider to talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Taking clozapine is a serious responsibility but if you follow these simple guidelines, it can be an effective treatment for you.
Side Effects Of Clozapine
When it comes to side effects, every drug has them. But it’s important to remember that not everyone experiences side effects from every drug they take. And even if you do experience side effects, they may be mild and go away on their own. With that said, here are some of the side effects associated with clozapine:
- Drowsiness – This is one of the most common side effects associated with clozapine. If you find yourself feeling drowsy during the day, it’s important to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery.
- Constipation – Clozapine can cause constipation in some people. To help avoid this, make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids and eating a high-fiber diet.
- Dry mouth – Dry mouth is another common side effect of clozapine. To help relieve this, try sucking on sugar-free hard candy or chewing sugar-free gum.
- Weight gain – Clozapine can cause weight gain in some people. If you’re concerned about this, talk to your doctor about ways to keep your weight under control.
These are just a few of the potential side effects associated with clozapine. If you experience any of these. Talk to your doctor immediately. Never avoid the side effects. Doing so can create major problems.
The most important thing to remember about any medication is that it is always best to speak with a doctor before making any decisions. About whether or not to take it – this is especially true for clozapine.
Alternative Treatment Options
In life, when something isn’t working, we have the option to try something else. When it comes to mental illness and medications. It works in the same way. If one medication isn’t effective, or has intolerable side effects. Then, there are other options that can be tried. This process of trial and error is called “medication switching.”
Reasons why people switch their medication;
- The first reason is that the original medication simply doesn’t work.
- Maybe side effects from the medication become intolerable.
- A person’s body may build up a tolerance to the medication.
- Atypical antipsychotics
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Electroconvulsive therapy
- Vagus nerve stimulation
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Self Care Treatment
- Sleep hygiene
- Stress reduction techniques
- Support groups
When it comes to finding the right treatment, it’s important to work with a doctor that you trust. They will be able to help guide you through this process. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing is working. Please don’t give up hope.
However, when it comes to clozapine, it is considered to be a “last resort” medication. This is because it has such a long list of side effects and risks. That being said, there are people who have had success with this drug when all other options have failed.
According to studies, clozapine is considerably a last option to treat mental illness. However, there is not doubt that the medication is very useful to patients who did not respond to other treatments. Clozapine can be a life-saving medication for people with mental illness.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental illness. Talk to your doctor about whether clozapine could be right for you. Thus, clozapine should not be seen as a first-line treatment for mental illness. But it could be the drug that saves your life.
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.
Reference Blog– https://therapymantra.co/therapy-types/equine-therapy/