Clozapine - how bad is it

Is clozapine as scary as they make out? How much of a pain are the blood tests and side effects?

Thanks
PFL x

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It is not scary. I’ve been on it for almost a year. Blood tests are just a little pain, but worth the hassle for this medicine.

I’ve read a study where it has the least risk of EPS out of 15 common APs.

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It can be effective for severe or difficult to treat schizophrenia. Given the potential side effects and requirement of blood tests, many doctors try other, safer medications or combinations first.

There appear to be many side effects with this antipsychotic medication. Common ones are extreme constipation, bed-wetting, night-time drooling, muscle stiffness, sedation, tremors, orthostasis, hyperglycemia, and weight gain.

Others are agranulocytosis, CNS depression, leukopenia, neutropenia, seizure disorder, bone marrow suppression, hypotension, and myocarditis.

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In my experience clozapine isn’t bad it all, it is the only med that has ever worked for me, I was a non-responder to the other meds. The regular blood tests are a nuisance but eventually they are only required once a month, any serious problems are rare and there are less side effects than the other drugs.

Clozapine is also for me the only drug that has helped. I’ve taken it for years. I don’t mind the blood tests. I get them done in my hand so there is very little pain. Hope this helps!

Amisulpride has made no difference so it’s clozapine next - wish me luck. First i’ve got to have a detailed psychological assessment to be certain i’m schizophrenic - has anyone had one of these? What do they ask?

PFL x

The only side effect that drew me back was that it lowers your immune system, making you susceptible to life threatening diseases.

The ppl who take my blood are so good at it that most of the time there is no pain at all.

It isn’t too much of a hassle… so long as you have a car to get to the lab draws, or someone to help with that…

Safety-wise, with the regular testing, you won’t run into trouble with side-effects. Should be able to see them from weeks, if not a month or two ahead of time

clozapine is good…I wouldn’t worry about side effects as all AP’s have them…its a good drug, very effectiv

It has some built-in anticholinergic side effects, hence the lower incidence rates of dystonia…

Should still ask your pdoc for propranolol for akathisia and benztropine for dystonia

Make sure he or she describes their proper use, as well as specific symptoms to be looking for.

That advice goes for ANY standard antipsychotic

Clozapine is a very effective drug after all the anti psychotics fail. It is considered to be the ultimate drug. But it has terrible side effects. It has 5 boxed warnings. There are many stories of people who had been on Clozapine for many years and ultimately ended their lives. In my opinion it is not a drug of choice and must be used only in desperate circumstances.

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Clozapine has worked great for me, it is not scary at all. it is much gentler than the other meds I have tried with fewer side effects, I was a non-responder to the other APs but clozapine worked for me which is typical. You do have to get monthly blood tests but it is just a nuisance, complications are rare. It has kept me out of the hospital.

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