Latuda (A complete review)

Lurasidone, or Latuda, is an antipsychotic drug used to treat dementia and manic depression.

In patients with bipolar disorder, Latuda is usually prescribed in combination with a mood stabilizer such as lithium or valproate. 

What is Latuda?

Latuda (lurasidone) is an antipsychotic drug. It works by reestablishing the balance of certain chemicals within the brain.

Latuda used to treat schizophrenia in adults and teenagers who are 13 years and older. 

Latuda is also prescribed to treat episodes of depression associated with bipolar disorder (bipolar depression) in adults and children who are a minimum of 10 years old.

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterized by abnormal perception of reality.

Symptoms involve hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking and behavior that hinders one’s ability to function in daily life. 

The following are symptoms of a depressive episode in bipolar disorder: 

·      Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness 

·      Very low energy and activity levels 

·      Trouble sleeping (either sleeping too much or too little) 

·      Loss of enjoyment in hobbies or activities

·      Feelings of worry 

·      Trouble concentrating and trouble remembering things 

·      Changes in appetite (either eating too much or too little)

·      Feeling sluggish 

·      Thoughts of death or suicide

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, seek help immediately. 

What information should I know before taking Latuda? 

You should not use Latuda if you are allergic to lurasidone.

Many other medications react with this drug and this can cause dangerous effects.

Some medicines should not be used in combination with lurasidone. Your doctor might modify your treatment so then you may be able to use:

Ø  Antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole or voriconazole

Ø  An antibiotic such as clarithromycin or rifampin

Ø  An antiviral such as ritonavir

Ø  St. John’s wort

Ø  Seizure drugs such as carbamazepine or phenytoin

Latuda is not approved to be used in psychotic conditions associated with dementia.

Lurasidone might increase the danger of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had: 

Ø  Cardiovascular disease or a stroke

Ø  High or low blood pressure

Ø  High cholesterol or triglycerides (a form of fat within the blood)

Ø  high blood glucose or diabetes (or a family history of diabetes)

Ø  A seizure

Ø  Liver or urinary organ disease

Ø  Low white blood cell (WBC) counts

Ø  Abnormal internal secretion performance tests (thyroid, pituitary gland)

Ø  Breast cancer

Ø  Dangerous thoughts or actions

Some people have thoughts about suicide when taking lurasidone. Your doctor should monitor your mood and mental state at regular appointments.

Your family or caregiver should also be aware of changes in your mood or behavior. 

Taking neuroleptic agent drugs within the last three months before starting latuda might cause respiratory issues, feeding issues, or withdrawal symptoms within newborns.

If you get pregnant, tell your doctor right away. 

It may not be safe to breastfeed a baby while taking Latuda. If you are planning to breastfeed, discuss this with your doctor. 

Latuda is not approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in anyone younger than thirteen.

In addition, Latuda is not recommended for depression in anyone younger than ten years old.

Store Latuda in a cool and dry place.

How should I take Latuda? 

 

Take Latuda exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Latuda should be taken with food. 

If you are taking Latuda, your doctor might require that you have frequent blood tests.

How long does Latuda take to work before I start seeing improvements in my symptoms? 

It may take several weeks before your symptoms start to improve. Keep taking the medication as directed.

Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they worsen. 

You should not stop taking Latuda without direction from your doctor.

Stopping Latuda suddenly may cause unpleasant withdrawal effects. 

It is common to become hot or dehydrated when you are taking Latuda.

Drink a lot of fluids, particularly in hot weather and while exercising. You will also become sensitive to temperature extremes (hot or cold).

What are the side effects of Latuda? 

Seek medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Latuda such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

High doses or long-term use of Latuda can cause a serious and irreversible movement disorder.

Symptoms of this disorder include uncontrollable muscle movements of your lips, tongue, eyes, face, arms, or legs.

The longer you use Latuda, the risk increases for developing this movement disorder, particularly if you are a woman or an older adult. 

Call your doctor immediately if you have:

Ø  any new or uncommon muscle movements you cannot control

Ø  a light-headed feeling

Ø  a seizure (convulsions)

Ø  (in women) irregular discharge periods, breast or duct changes, vaginal discharge

Ø  (in men) breast swelling, impotence

Ø  difficulty swallowing

Ø  manic episodes – racing thoughts, increased energy, lack of sleep, risk-taking behaviour, being agitated or talkative

Ø  low white blood cell counts – fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, pharyngitis, cough, difficulty breathing

Ø  high blood sugar – increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odour

Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following: stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, quick or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling as though you might pass out. 

 Common Latuda side effects might include:

 

Ø  drowsiness

Ø  weight gain

Ø  tremors, muscle stiffness, slow muscle movement

Ø  feeling restless or being unable to sit still

Ø  nausea, vomitine

Ø  runny nose 

Ø  Sleep issues (insomnia)

Does Latuda interact with other drugs? 

Using Latuda with different medications that slow your respiration can cause dangerous effects or even death.

Ask your doctor before taking an opioid medication, a muscle relaxant, or drugs for anxiety or seizures.

Tell your doctor the medications you are currently taking.

Several medications interact with lurasidone, especially ones that are used to treat the following: 

Ø  depression or psychotic episodes

Ø  sleep issues (insomnia)

Ø  high blood pressure 

Ø  swelling or inflammation

Ø  seizures

Ø  Parkinson’s disease

 

Precautions:

 

Before taking lurasidone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.

This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause hypersensitivity or other issues.

Confer with your pharmacist or primary care physician for details.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any of the following: 

kidney problems, liver issues, have had a  stroke, breast cancer, diabetes (including family history), obesity, low blood pressure, seizures, low white blood cell count, dementia (such as Alzheimer’s Disease), trouble swallowing, respiratory issues during sleep (sleep apnea).

This drug might cause you to feel dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol will enhance the feelings of dizziness or drowsiness.

Do not drive, use machinery, or do something that requires alertness till you know how Latuda will affect you.

Avoid alcoholic beverages. Discuss with your doctor if you’re smoking the green stuff (THC) etc.

Before having any kind of surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the medications you are taking (including prescription medication, nonprescription medication, and herbal products).

This medication might cause you to sweat less, which can increase your risk for heatstroke.

Avoid doing things that will cause you to overheat, such as exercising in hot weather or using hot tubs.

Once the weather is warm, drink lots of fluids and dress accordingly.

If you overheat, quickly find an area to cool down and rest. Seek medical attention immediately if you have a fever that does not go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness.

Older adults may also be a lot more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, particularly the dizziness and lightheadedness.

Drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling.

During pregnancy, this medication should only be used if absolutely necessary.

Childbirth or taking this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause symptoms in the child such as muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying.

If you notice any of those symptoms in your newborn, especially during their first month, tell your doctor right away.

Since untreated mental or mood issues (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression) are often a significant condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor.

If you are experiencing side effects, become pregnant, or think you may become pregnant, consult with your doctor right away to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using of this medication. 

It might be dangerous if this medication passes into breast milk. Talk to your doctor before breast-feeding.

Important information:

Latuda is not approved to be used in psychotic conditions related to dementia.

Lurasidone increases the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related psychopathy.

Some teenagers have thoughts regarding suicide once taking Latuda. Be aware of changes in your mood or symptoms.

Tell your doctor about any new or worsening symptoms. 

Before you take Latuda, tell your doctor if you have any diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, a history of heart failure or stroke, high sterol or triglycerides, low white blood cell (WBC) counts, seizures, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, difficulty swallowing, a history of carcinoma, or dangerous thoughts.

Some medicines will act with lurasidone and should not be used at the same time.

Tell your healthcare providers all medications that you currently take and any medications you have stopped taking. 

Latuda might impair your thoughts or reactions. Use caution if you drive or do something that requires you to be alert.

Avoid getting up too quickly from a sitting or lying position. Otherwise, you might feel dizzy.

Rise slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Drinking alcohol will increase the side effects of lurasidone.

Stop using this drug and consult your doctor right away if you get stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, quick or pounding heartbeat, feeling like you might pass out, tremors, muscle spasm, or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Latuda: 

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medication as soon as you remember, but if it is almost time for your next dose do not take it.

Do not take 2 doses at once.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of the medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention immediately.

What should I avoid while taking Latuda?

Avoid drinking alcohol because dangerous side effects may occur.

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how Latuda can affect you.

Avoid getting up too quickly from a sitting or lying position.

Otherwise, you might feel dizzy. Dizziness or a can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with lurasidone and result in unwanted side effects.

Avoid eating grapefruit or products containing grapefruit when taking Latuda.

Want to learn more about Latuda? Try these recommended readings!

LATUDA (Lurasidone): Treats Mental Disorder like Schizophrenia and Bipolar Depression

This book by James Lee Anderson provides information about Latuda in paperback form.

It discusses what Latuda is prescribed for, how it works, and how it should be taken.  

What we recommend for Schizophrenia

Professional counselling

If you have Schizophrenia, then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will allow you to practice various habits that improve your overall quality of life.

References:

Latuda. WebMD. 2020 

Latuda. Drugs.com. March 2nd, 2020. 

Schizophrenia. Mayo Clinic. April 10th, 2018.

https://www.latuda.com

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