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About Schizophrenia

About Schizophrenia

Not an actual patient.

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 This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.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 an 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

Did you know?


Schizophrenia can affect approximately 1% of the population over a lifetime.


It typically appears between ages 16 and 30 and affects men and women equally.


Schizophrenia has been shown to run in families, though people without a family history can also have the disease. A person with a parent, brother, or sister who has schizophrenia has a 10% chance of developing the disease.

GEODON is available in 20-mg, 40-mg, 60-mg, and 80-mg capsules as well as in intramuscular injection in 20-mg/mL single-use vials.

GEODON Important Safety Information and Indications

WARNING:INCREASED DEATH IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSISGEODON® (ziprasidone HCl) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis. Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss) treated with this type of medicine are at an increased risk of death, compared to placebo
(sugar pill).

GEODON may increase the risk of changes to your heart rhythm. You should not take GEODON if you have certain kinds of heart conditions that change your heart rhythm, a recent heart attack, heart failure, or take certain medicines known to change heart rhythm. It is important to talk to your doctor about this possible side effect. Call your doctor right away if you faint, pass out, or feel a change in your heartbeat.

It is important to tell your doctor about any other medicines that you take, including non-prescription medicines, supplements, and herbal medicines.

If you experience a high fever, stiff muscles, shaking, confusion, sweating, or increased heart rate or blood pressure, tell your doctor right away. These can be signs of a rare but potentially fatal condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).

Delayed-onset drug reaction called Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) can occur with ziprasidone. Signs of DRESS may include rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Other severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCAR), such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome can occur with ziprasidone. Signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome may include rash with blisters which could include ulcers in mouth, skin shedding, fever, and target-like spots in the skin. DRESS and other SCAR are sometimes fatal; therefore call your health care professional(s) and seek immediate care if you develop any of these signs or symptoms.

If you experience abnormal or uncontrollable facial or body movements, notify your doctor. These could be a sign of tardive dyskinesia (TD), a potentially permanent condition whose risk increases with the length of treatment, but which can also occur after brief periods at low doses.

If you have diabetes or have risk factors or symptoms of diabetes, your blood sugar should be monitored. Symptoms include excessive thirst, urination, appetite, and weakness. High blood sugar has been reported with GEODON and medicines like it. In some cases, extreme high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. Increases in cholesterol and weight gain have also been reported with medicines like GEODON.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Breastfeeding is not recommended.

Antipsychotic drugs (like GEODON) may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness upon standing which could lead to falls, fractures, or other injuries. If you experience these symptoms, tell your doctor.

If you experience a rash or seizures, tell your doctor. Also tell your doctor if you have thoughts of suicide.

Other risks may include decreases in white blood cells (which can be serious), trouble swallowing, high prolactin levels, and impairment in judgment or motor skills. Until you know how GEODON affects you, you should not drive or operate machinery.

Do not drink alcohol while taking GEODON. Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated.

Common side effects of GEODON include:

  • 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

In short-term bipolar mania clinical studies, 4.9% of GEODON-treated patients gained significant weight (7% or more of body weight) vs 3.3% for placebo.

In a long-term bipolar maintenance clinical study, patients who tolerated GEODON plus lithium or valproate (Depakote®) for 10-16 weeks were either continued on GEODON or switched to placebo for up to 6 months. During these six months, 5.6% of patients in both groups gained significant weight. These results do not include patients who did not complete the study.

In short-term schizophrenia clinical studies, 10% of GEODON-treated patients gained significant weight vs 4% for placebo.

Since there is no experience regarding the safety of administering GEODON for Injection to schizophrenic patients already taking oral GEODON, the practice of co-administration is not recommended.


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. GEODON may increase the risk of changes to your heart rhythm. In some cases these types of changes can be fatal though it is unknown whether this is the case with GEODON. It is important to talk to your doctor about this potential side effect, as your doctor may consider a different medicine first.

Patients should always ask their doctors for medical advice about adverse events.

You may report an adverse event related to Pfizer products by calling 1-800-438-1985 (US only). If you prefer, you may contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directly. The FDA has established a reporting service known as MedWatch where health care professionals and consumers can report serious problems they suspect may be associated with the drugs and medical devices they prescribe, dispense, or use. Visit MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088 .


*Terms and conditions apply. Card will be accepted only at participating pharmacies. Card is not health insurance. No membership fee.For more information, call 1-800-725-9655, visit, or write: Attn: GEODON Savings Card: 2250 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560.

GEODON is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. Other brands listed are trademarks of their respective owners.

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