Things-to-look-out-for

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					Things to look out for                            Where can I get further
                                                  information ?
 Sore throat, fever, flu like symptoms.
Please tell your doctor. An extra blood test
                                                  If you wish to know more about clozapine
may be taken to check that your white cells
are healthy. Paracetamol can be taken.
Ask your pharmacist about other medicines.
                                                  as a treatment, please speak to your
                                                  prescribing doctor or support worker. The            Clozapine with
                                                  specialist Mental Health Pharmacist can
 Weight gain.
Clozapine treatment is likely to lead to some
                                                  also be asked to come and answer your
                                                  questions. There are other information
                                                                                                        Confidence
weight gain. Healthy eating with a good           sheets available on clozapine.
amount of fibre can help this. Do ask for
further advice and support if you feel this       If you would like to know more about
would be helpful.
 Seizures and Fits
                                                  schizophrenia and perhaps meet others              Clozapine is used when other
                                                  who are in similar circumstances, then the          antipsychotics have not helped.
These are rare but can occur with high            addresses below may be of some help to
doses. Please see your doctor if you              you.
develop any unusual twitching or jerking.                                                            Clozapine consistently achieves
Fits can be treated very easily with              rethink [formerly National Schizophrenia            better results than other
anticonvulsant medication such as sodium          Fellowship]                                         antipsychotics.
valproate. (Epilim)                               28 Castle Street
 Driving                                         Kingston upon Thames Surrey KT1 2SS                Commitment to clozapine involves
If you find that clozapine makes you feel         Tel: 0845 456 0455 (Administration)                 having regular blood tests.
drowsy, do not drive or use machines.             0208 974 6814 (Advice line - part time hours)
Drinking alcohol in small amounts is safe
but it will make you much more sleepy.            SANE                                               No blood test - no clozapine is for
                                                  First floor, Cityside House                         your safety.
                                                  40 Adler Street        London E1 1EE
How long will I take the tablets for ?            Tel: 0207 375 1002 (Administration)
If clozapine works for you it is likely to be a   0845 7678 000 (SANELINE 12noon –2am)
                                                                                                     Many people who take clozapine
long term treatment. If clozapine has not         www. sane.org.uk                                    are able to achieve much more.
helped by 6 months to 1 year, it is likely to
be gradually stopped.                             MIND
If there is a problem with your blood results,    15 - 19 Broadway
clozapine will be stopped quickly for safety      London E15 4BQ
reasons. Clozapine is not a tranquilliser         Tel: 0208 519 2122
                                                  Info line tel. 0845 766 0163
and is not addictive.
                                                  www. mind.org.uk
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding                             This leaflet has been produced by the
                                                                                                      Getting the best from your
If you are thinking of starting a family or         Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS        clozapine medication
wish to breastfeed, please discuss this with                              Trust
your doctor. This is so that the right checks         It is not a substitute for a manufacturer’s
                                                            information leaflet (rev. Nov.03)
can be made on you and your child.
        Clozapine with Confidence                This is why regular blood testing is an        Side Effects – Does clozapine have
                                                 important part of being on clozapine.          any ?
Introduction                                     Without a healthy number of white cells
Clozapine is an antipsychotic medication taken   you cannot fight off routine infections.       All drugs have side effects. Clozapine
to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia. It is    Without the right number of platelets, your    has side effects too. Please see below.
only used when other antipsychotic medicines     blood will not clot very well if you cut
have not helped. It is also known by its brand   yourself and you can bruise very easily.       Drowsiness, Dizziness on standing
name Clozaril.                                                                                  Gets less with time. Helped by taking
                                                 The makers of clozapine have a very safe       larger part of dose at night. Take your
Clozapine is different to other antipsychotic    system in place. It is called the Clozaril     time when getting up from sitting or lying
medications. For example, it is stronger in      Patient Monitoring System (CPMS).              down.
working against psychotic symptoms. In this
way it can be better at reducing unpleasant      At the time of taking the first blood sample   Excess saliva
experiences and worrying thoughts. Clozapine     you will be registered with the CPMS.          Often worse at night - wrap a towel
also works better against negative symptoms.     Your consultant and the supplying              around your pillow. Ask your doctor or
In this way, it can give you more energy and     pharmacy are also registered. Pharmacy         pharmacist about tablets that may help
help you to stay focused on activities.          may only release the next supply of tablets    with this.
                                                 when they get the green light on your
For many people there are other gains. They      blood test.                                    Constipation
may be able to stay out of hospital for longer                                                  Increasing the amount of fibre in the diet
and possibly do some type of work. Some          What is the blood testing schedule ?           can help. Ask your pharmacist about a
people do very well on clozapine. For            This is part of the safe use of the drug and   choice of laxative.
example, they may be able to live on their own   cannot be changed. It is weekly for 18         Do not ignore this side effect.
for the first time                               weeks, fortnightly from 18 weeks until 52
                                                 weeks and 4 weekly after the first year.       Palpitations
Like other antipsychotic medicines, clozapine    Arrangements will be made to take your         Some people may get a fast heart beat.
does not work straight away. Some people         blood sample at the most suitable clinic.      This is not dangerous but do tell your
notice benefit by 6 weeks. For many,             The blood sample is sent away to a CPMS        doctor. He / she may advise some
improvement is slower. It may take up to 6       laboratory for analysis. It is not tested to   medication to slow the heart down.
months before clear change is seen. For the      see how much clozapine you have been
small number who do not get better the drug      taking.                                        Many of the side effects are short term
can easily be stopped. Stopping clozapine                                                       and are lessened by introducing the drug
under these conditions is done in a slow and     Taking the Tablets                             gradually. Unlike older antipsychotics
careful way.                                     Clozapine comes in tablet form only. It is     such as haloperidol and chlorpromazine,
                                                 also known as Clozaril which is the brand      clozapine does not cause movement
Starting Clozapine                               name.        Please follow the dosing          related side effects (eg Parkinsonism).
Before you can start clozapine you need to       instructions with care. Doses are built up
have a blood test. This is to check that the     gradually to reduce side effects. If you       It should not affect your sex life either.
white cells and clotting cells (platelets) are   miss more than 2 days worth of tablets
healthy. In a small number of cases (1-2%)       please ask your doctor for advice. He /        Please tell your doctor about any side
clozapine can reduce the amount of these         she may ask you to re-start the tablets        effects that you may be worried about.
important blood cells.                           gradually.

				
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