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What Is Lurasidone?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Lurasidone is an atypical antipsychotic medication available for the treatment of schizophrenia. It also has potential applications for management of other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder. A doctor may recommend this medication to a patient after a careful review of the patient's medical history and any risk factors. It is designed for once daily use and must be taken regularly to be most effective. Schizophrenia is not a curable condition, but it can be manageable with medications.

This medication comes with fewer side effects than many other drugs used in the treatment of schizophrenia. The incidence of extrapyramidal symptoms like tardive dyskinesia is lower, and patients are less likely to experience weight gain while on the drug. These symptoms are often causes for concern among patients and prescribing doctors, because some patients may need to take drugs for life to manage their mental health. Taking drugs with an incidence of dangerous side effects that increases over time may be an unacceptable risk for some patients. Drugs with lower risks are preferable.

The drug is not completely risk free. Patients can experience symptoms like drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea or fatigue. Some patients develop more serious side effects, often as a result of an interaction between lurasidone and another medication or an underlying health condition. Dietary conflicts can also arise. Grapefruit juice, for example, can exacerbate side effects and may make a patient feel much worse.

Older adults may experience more side effects on lurasidone. The drug is not considered safe for use in people with dementia, and in clinical trials, older adults appeared to be at greater risk of complications like heart problems. As schizophrenic patients age, it may be necessary to reevaluate their medications to determine if another drug would be more appropriate for the management of the condition. Other medications that may be safer could be used instead. Doctors and patients need to carefully review all medical conditions and other drugs, including herbal preparations, that the patient may be using.

When patients first start taking lurasidone, they may need an adjustment period. The doctor typically starts with a low dose and adjusts it over time as the patient responds to the medication. Care providers typically want to keep their patients on the lowest possible maintenance dose to reduce the risk of side effects. Over time, the patient's condition more change, and it would be necessary to adjust the lurasidone dosage again after settling in on the medication.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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