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What Is Sertindole?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Sertindole is a prescription medication designed to treat schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. This medication works by blocking dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain, improving cognitive functioning and reducing symptoms of psychosis. Side effects of sertindole may include nasal congestion, orthostatic hypotension, and reduced ejaculatory volume. Severe cardiac disturbances and sudden death may occur when taking this medication, a fact that has caused some countries to refuse to approve the use of this drug. Specific questions or concerns about sertindole should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist.

Considered an atypical antipsychotic drug, sertindole is thought to have fewer overall side effects than other medications used to treat psychotic disorders. Tremors, weight gain, and diabetes are frequently experienced by those who take antipsychotic medications, and clinical trials have suggested that these side effects are less severe or absent when taking sertindole. In most cases, this medication is used for at least a year after psychotic symptoms are under control.

There are some potentially serious side effects associated with the use of sertindole, although many studies have suggested that the benefits far outweigh the risks for most people who suffer from psychotic symptoms associated with mental illness. Nasal congestion and other symptoms that mimic those of seasonal allergies may occur when taking this medication. Dizziness or drowsiness may occur, although these side effects are thought to be less severe than with most other medications used to treat schizophrenia. A worsening of symptoms is relatively rare, although it is a possible complication of this drug.

Orthostatic hypotension is a medical term used to describe a dramatic drop in blood pressure when standing from a seated position. This is a common side effect of sertindole, and symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, and confusion. Treatment for orthostatic hypotension may involve the use of compression stockings and over-the-counter or prescription medications. Men who take this drug may notice a decrease in semen volume, although libido and sexual function are not usually affected.

Severe cardiac problems have been reported among those who have taken sertindole. Specific symptoms may include irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and loss of consciousness. These heart problems have been blamed for several deaths, with some patients dying suddenly without exhibiting any noticeable symptoms. This controversial medication has been approved by some countries and deemed unsafe by others. Any questions or concerns about the use, safety, or availability of this drug should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

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