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Frequently Asked Questions

Although your doctor is the best source for answering your specific questions about schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and treatment with GEODON, you can find answers to common questions here.

General Information About GEODON

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What is GEODON?

GEODON is a type of prescription medicine called a psychotropic, also known as an atypical antipsychotic. GEODON can be used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder. GEODON can also be used as maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder when added to lithium or valproate (Depakote®).

Who should take GEODON?

Only your doctor can know if GEODON is right for you. GEODON may be prescribed for you if you have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of schizophrenia may include:

  • hearing voices, seeing things, or sensing things that are not there (hallucinations)
  • beliefs that are not true (delusions)
  • unusual suspiciousness (paranoia)
  • becoming withdrawn from family and friends

Symptoms of manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder may include:

  • extremely high or irritable mood
  • increased energy, activity, and restlessness
  • racing thoughts or talking very fast
  • easily distracted
  • little need for sleep

If you show a response to GEODON, your symptoms may improve. If you continue to take GEODON there is less chance of your symptoms returning. Do not stop taking the capsules even when you feel better without first discussing it with your doctor.

It is also important to remember that GEODON capsules should be taken with food.

How to Get Brand-Name GEODON

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How can I ensure that I won’t get switched to a generic substitute?

Here are 3 suggested tips to help make sure you receive brand-name GEODON and not a generic:

  1. At your doctor’s office: Ask your doctor to prescribe brand-name GEODON and to indicate “DAW” (Dispense As Written)—or the language used in your state—on all of your GEODON prescriptions.
  2. At your pharmacy’s drop-off: Tell the pharmacist that you want brand-name GEODON—and be sure to use the GEODON Savings Card. The GEODON Savings Card can only be used with brand-name GEODON.
  3. At your pharmacy’s pick-up: Check your pills to be sure they’re brand-name GEODON—not the generic—and also check that you’ve saved on your prescription.

What should I do if I receive a generic substitute instead of brand-name GEODON?

Talk to your doctor and/or your pharmacist to ask if you should be getting brand-name GEODON. For tips on having that conversation, download the Savings Card Tip Sheet.

How do I know if I received brand-name GEODON?

Check your pills for the distinctive shape and markings of brand-name GEODON.

Saving on GEODON

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What is the GEODON Savings Card?

The GEODON Savings Card allows eligible patients to pay as little as $4 every time they get a 30-day fill of brand-name GEODON—and could save up to $3,000 a year. If you have a prescription for brand-name GEODON, you can use the card for every fill through December 31, 2020.*

*Terms and conditions apply.

How do I use the GEODON Savings Card?

There are 2 ways to use the card immediately. Once you’ve activated your Savings Card, you can either:

  • Bring a printed copy of it to the pharmacy
  • Show it to your pharmacist on your phone

You can keep this card with you and continue to save on each fill for GEODON through December 31, 2020.

Who is eligible to use the GEODON Savings Card?

To be eligible to use a GEODON Savings Card, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Not be a resident of Massachusetts (Restrictions may apply for other states)
  • Not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state healthcare programs
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The Card is not valid for California residents whose prescriptions are covered in whole or in part by third-party insurance, a healthcare service plan, or other health coverage where a lower cost generic is available, unless applicable step therapy or prior authorization requirements have been completed.

Please check with your healthcare professional or insurer to confirm eligibility.

To learn the full details of who is eligible, please see the full Terms and Conditions.

How do I get a GEODON Savings Card?

To get a Savings Card, register here and then download your card or have it sent to you via mail or email.

If I already have a GEODON Savings Card, how can I activate it?

You can activate your Savings Card here.

Does the GEODON Savings Card work at nonparticipating pharmacies?

Yes, for reimbursement when using a nonparticipating pharmacy: Pay for your GEODON prescription and mail a copy of the original pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt NOT valid) with the product name, date, and amount circled to: GEODON Savings Offer, 2250 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560. Be sure to include a copy of the front of your GEODON Savings Card, your name, and mailing address.

Does the GEODON Savings Card work through mail-order pharmacies?

Yes, for reimbursement when using a mail-order pharmacy: Pay for your GEODON prescription and mail a copy of the original pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt NOT valid) with the product name, date, and amount circled to: GEODON Savings Offer, 2250 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560. Be sure to include a copy of the front of your GEODON Savings Card, your name, and mailing address.

Taking GEODON

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How should I take GEODON?

  • Take GEODON only as directed by your doctor
  • Swallow the capsules whole
  • Take GEODON capsules with food
  • It is best to take GEODON at the same time each day
  • GEODON may take a few weeks to work. It is important to be patient
  • Do not change your dose or stop taking your medicine without your doctor's approval
  • Remember to keep taking your capsules, even when you feel better

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking GEODON?

Only your doctor can decide if GEODON is right for you. Before you start GEODON, be sure to tell your doctor if you:

  • have had any problem with the way your heart beats or any heart-related illness or disease
  • any family history of heart disease, including recent heart attack
  • have had any problem with fainting or dizziness
  • are taking or have recently taken any prescription medicines
  • are taking any over-the-counter medicines you can buy without a prescription, including natural/herbal remedies
  • have had any problems with your liver
  • are pregnant, might be pregnant, or plan to get pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • are allergic to any medicines
  • have ever had an allergic reaction to ziprasidone or any of the other ingredients of GEODON capsules. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of these ingredients
  • have low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood

Your doctor may want you to get additional laboratory tests to see if GEODON is an appropriate treatment for you.

Should I take GEODON with or without food?

You should take GEODON with food.

What should I do if I think I may have taken too much GEODON?

If you think you've taken too much GEODON, call your doctor or poison control center right away or go to the nearest emergency room.

Can I take GEODON with other medications?

There are some medications that may be unsafe to use when taking GEODON, and there are some medicines that can affect how well GEODON works. While you are on GEODON, check with your doctor before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medications, including natural/herbal remedies.

How should I store my GEODON?

Store GEODON capsules at room temperature (59°F to 86°F or 15°C to 30°C).

Safety & Possible Side Effects

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Who should not take GEODON?

Elderly patients with a diagnosis of psychosis related to dementia. GEODON is not approved for the treatment of these patients.

Anything that can increase the chance of a heart rhythm abnormality should be avoided. Therefore, do not take GEODON if:

  • You have certain heart diseases, for example, long QT syndrome, a recent heart attack, severe heart failure, or certain irregularities of heart rhythm (discuss the specifics with your doctor)
  • You are currently taking medications that should not be taken in combination with ziprasidone, for example, dofetilide, sotalol, quinidine, other Class Ia and III anti-arrhythmics, mesoridazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, droperidol, pimozide, sparfloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, halofantrine, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, levomethadyl acetate, dolasetron mesylate, probucol or tacrolimus

What are the possible side effects of GEODON?

Because these problems could mean you're having a heart rhythm abnormality, contact your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you:

  • Faint or lose consciousness
  • Feel a change in the way that your heart beats (palpitations)

    Common side effects of GEODON include the following and should also be discussed with your doctor if they occur:

    • Feeling unusually tired or sleepy
    • Nausea or upset stomach
    • Constipation
    • Dizziness
    • Restlessness
    • Abnormal muscle movements, including tremor, shuffling, and uncontrolled involuntary movements
    • Diarrhea
    • Rash
    • Increased cough/runny nose

    If you develop any side effects that concern you, talk with your doctor. It is particularly important to tell your doctor if you have diarrhea, vomiting, or another illness that can cause you to lose fluids. Your doctor may want to check your blood to make sure that you have the right amount of important salts after such illnesses.

    For a list of all side effects that have been reported, see the GEODON Professional Package Insert.

What should I avoid while taking GEODON?

  • Before taking GEODON, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. It is advised that you don't breastfeed an infant if you are taking GEODON
  • Because GEODON can cause sleepiness, be careful when operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle
  • Since medications of the same drug class as GEODON may interfere with the ability of the body to adjust to heat, it is best to avoid situations involving high temperature or humidity
  • It is best to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages while taking GEODON

     

What is the most important safety information I should know about GEODON?

GEODON is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis. Elderly patients with a diagnosis of psychosis related to dementia treated with antipsychotics are at an increased risk of death when compared to patients who are treated with placebo (a sugar pill).

GEODON is an effective drug to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and the manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder. However, one potential side effect is that it may change the way the electrical current in your heart works more than some other drugs. The change is small and it is not known whether this will be harmful, but some other drugs that cause this kind of change have in rare cases caused dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities. Because of this, GEODON should be used only after your doctor has considered this risk for GEODON against the risks and benefits of other medications available for treating schizophrenia or bipolar manic and mixed episodes.

Your risk of dangerous changes in heart rhythm can be increased if you are taking certain other medicines and if you already have certain abnormal heart conditions. Therefore, it is important to tell your doctor about any other medicines that you take, including non-prescription medicines, supplements, and herbal medicines. You must also tell your doctor about any heart problems you have or have had.

 

About Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia

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What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Bipolar disorder can be treated. 

What are the different types of bipolar disorder?

There are different types of bipolar disorder. The type of bipolar disorder you have is determined by the kinds of episodes you experience.

  • Bipolar I disorder: Patients with bipolar I disorder have episodes of serious manic symptoms and deep depression
  • Bipolar II disorder: Patients with bipolar II disorder also have episodes of depression. But their manic episodes tend to have milder symptoms. This milder type of mania is also known as hypomania. GEODON is not approved to treat bipolar II disorder

What are the different types of episodes a person with bipolar disorder may experience?

Manic: Periods of high moods (or “mania”). Symptoms of a manic episode may include feeling “high,” having an extremely irritable mood, and restlessness; having racing thoughts or talking very fast; being easily distracted; or feeling little need for sleep.

Depressive: A long period of feeling sad, worried or empty. Symptoms of a depressive episode may include loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex, and feeling tired or “slowed down.” GEODON is not approved to treat depressive episodes.

Mixed: Feeling both manic and depressive symptoms. During a mixed state, symptoms often include agitation, trouble sleeping, major changes in appetite, and suicidal thinking. People in a mixed state may feel very sad or hopeless while feeling extremely energized.

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder. People with the disorder may hear voices other people don’t hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. Schizophrenia can be treated.

 

What are the symptoms of a schizophrenia episode?

Positive symptoms:

  • Hallucinations: things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. “Voices” are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia
  • Delusions: false beliefs that are not part of the person’s culture and do not change. The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical
  • Thought disorders: unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking. One form of thought disorder is called “disorganized thinking.” This is when a person has trouble organizing his or her thoughts or connecting them logically
  • Movement disorders: may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over

Negative symptoms:

  • Flat affect (a person’s face does not move or he or she talks in a dull or monotonous voice)
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
  • Speaking little, even when forced to interact
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