An antipsychotic is usually prescribed during a time of crisis — little thought generally goes into what Geodon withdrawal help might look like after the crisis, nor the degree that ziprasidone side effects may begin to eclipse any treatment benefits.
Considering the side effects and loss of passion that typically comes with antipsychotics, you might wonder if a lifetime of being medicated is really necessary. Yet, any attempts at coming off previously may have been a repeat of the same disaster. Alternative to Meds Center has designed a program to enable safe reduction and in many cases complete Geodon withdrawal.
Do Your Symptoms
Alternative to Meds has been an expert on antipsychotic withdrawal and Geodon alternatives for over 15 years. Alternative to Meds Center has published evidence regarding our success. We have found that there are usually predictable contributors to the original event, like drug use, deplorable diet, or even genetic polymorphisms that might be better managed holistically. Researchers have looked at whether these types of drugs actually further develop impairment and psychotic features by upregulating dopamine receptors and other important questions that may help understand better treatment options.6
Withdrawal from a medication like Geodon can be truly confusing. With all the trauma of having been to the hospital, and sometimes even near-death experiences, one may conclude that remaining on the medication and enduring the side effects is the wisest choice.We have a 75% long-term success rate eliminating antipsychotic use. There are reasons why your loved one got put on antipsychotics, and there are other ways to discover what those reasons are and directly treat those deficiencies which could reduce or even eliminate the need for drugs altogether.
There is much research that has been done on Geodon, and much more that hopefully can be done in the future. Below, we will cover information relating to Geodon withdrawal, side effects, and some other FAQs that may also be helpful for someone who is considering starting or stopping this medication. If more information is needed, it is freely available on request.
15 Years Experience by Professionals Who Understand Your Journey.
Geodon (ziprasidone) is an atypical second-generation antipsychotic medication (SGA) that has been available since 2001 in the US. Studies and case reports have shown a link between Geodon and risks to the heart, however, the drug causes weight gain to a lesser degree than most other SGAs.11,12
Geodon (ziprasidone) is FDA approved for treating schizophrenia, acute agitation in schizophrenic patients, bipolar mania, and mixed episodes of mania and depression.1,7
Antipsychotic medications in all their many versions are not a cure for the conditions for which they are prescribed. The field of research has shown there are gaps in the understanding of conditions such as schizophrenia, and that drug therapy alone may not produce results that lead to a more satisfying quality of life. We highly recommend learning more about alternatives to antipsychotic medications to enhance the quality of each and every beautiful life, at whatever stage of healing a person may find themself.13
There are other conditions that drugs such as Geodon are prescribed for besides the officially FDA-approved uses. According to a 2012 review of the medical literature, there is not sufficient evidence of the efficacy of any off-label prescribing of atypical antipsychotics. The FDA put a black box warning on Geodon specifically warning against the increased risk of death for dementia patients. Nonetheless, the practice of off-label prescribing continues. 8
Off-label uses for Geodon include:
Aggression/agitated state, acute agitation in dementia
*Women are diagnosed with depression more often than men according to Dr. Paul Albert.4 Women of childbearing age should take note that in clinical drug trials on pregnant rabbits, birth defects and stillborn births showed much reason for concern.
Geodon (ziprasidone) Alternative Names and Slang
Geodon has developed less of a street presence than similar atypical antipsychotic drugs such as Quetiapine. However, any drug can wind up being sold illegally through diversion. Geodon (ziprasidone) flattens out sensations rather than enhancing them. However, research shows that some drug users may use antipsychotics as a way to end off a binge of stimulant drugs, or as a way to counteract other drug adverse effects.5,9
Ziprasidone hydrochloride is the generic name for Geodon in capsule form. The generic drug in injectable form is called ziprasidone mesylate.1
Geodon Side Effects
There are some troubling, though relatively rare, side effects and health risks that can occur while taking Geodon. Of particular note, some are severe, causing the FDA to place a black box warning on the drug packaging.1
Severe Geodon side effects include:
Increased mortality in elderly patients where signs of dementia-related psychosis are present
Risk of stroke, mini-stroke, other heart issues
Dystonia (repetitive and sustained muscle contractions)
DRESS (a life-threatening skin rash that can spread and cause ulcers in and under the skin, mucous membranes such as the throat, mouth, eyes, and internal organs including the liver, pancreas, etc.)
Akathisia (compulsive, unrelenting need to stay in motion, sometimes so severe as to induce suicidal ideation for relief)
Parkinsonism (stiffening muscles, rigidity, inability to move)
Mania in bipolar patients
Heart issues, i.e., palpitations, tachycardia, fainting, etc.
Birth defects (found in animal studies, no human trials were done but data has been collected for statistical purposes)2
Common side effects of Geodon include:
Digestive issues, i.e., loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting
Fainting, especially if getting up too quickly from a seated or lying position
Enlarged breasts, nipple discharge
Involuntary motor movements, i.e., muscle tics, tremors, rolling tongue, facial contortions, etc.
Symptoms of a cold, i.e., runny or stuffed nose, sneezing, etc.
Lack of energy
These symptoms may change over time, and if they intensify a person should seek medical attention immediately to ensure health and safety, according to the manufacturer’s drug label.1
Geodon Withdrawal Symptoms
Geodon side effects can become crushingly intolerable and this may lead to the decision to come off the drug.
Unless there is a medical reason to do so, as will be covered in more detail below, never abruptly stop taking a drug like Geodon, as doing so can protract the process significantly.
Safely and gradually tapering from Geodon is the recommended procedure in withdrawal. It may take weeks or even several months to gently taper off, and you may require special help to meet all of the challenges and changes. One withdrawal side effect to monitor closely is a return of symptoms that may occur after stopping an antipsychotic medication. Mania or depression, psychosis or an agitated state may reappear once the medication has been stopped.
Seek competent medical guidance should you decide to discontinue taking Geodon, and talk to your doctor about the steps you need to take for successful and gentle tapering. More information on this topic is included in the section of this article entitled “Discontinuing/Quitting Geodon” which you can find below.
Geodon withdrawal symptoms include:
Hallucinations (visual or audio)
Insomnia or changes in sleep pattern
Confusion, difficulty with concentration
The severity of these symptoms can depend on such things as the duration of the prescription, the dosage, general health, metabolism rate, age, and many other factors.1
There are ways to help stay healthy and encouraged during a taper, and assistance may be needed to prepare meals, provide comfort and encouragement, or other day-to-day tasks that would be difficult to do without some personal support.
Inpatient treatment can often make a significant difference in the ease and comfort of withdrawal.
Oftentimes, Geodon is given to a person who is in a crisis. Antipsychotics are commonly used to control extreme episodes. Unfortunately, little attention is given to whether or not the crisis is a temporary situation. More times than not, the person is left on a high dose, under the assumption that their diagnosis is permanently fixed. Although it is relatively easy to find doctors who will induct these kinds of medications, it is often a virtual ghost town when it comes to finding a professional who is versed in how to properly reduce or eliminate the medication when that time comes. You may find that you have to provide information to your doctor that he or she was not aware of when it comes to medication reduction. The subject is not taught in medical school.
Always seek competent medical guidance should you decide to discontinue a medication like Geodon, and talk to your doctor about the steps you need to take for successful and gentle tapering.
Also, be sure to ask your doctor if they are familiar with the steps you need to take for a successful Geodon withdrawal.
The following are some of the most asked questions about certain Geodon effects, and other important topics of interest. If more information is needed on these or other topics, please contact us and we will help.
Does Geodon “Make You Feel High?”
There are anecdotal reports that indicate that some people have used Geodon to get high, but the drug is not known to be actively sought on the street as a popular drug of abuse or for pleasure-seeking. The high has been described as similar to a marijuana high.
Though illegal drugs are available online and sometimes mistakenly through diversion, anyone is risking their health by experimenting with antipsychotic medications. These are potent drugs that can have potentially life-changing consequences, and grave health risks.
What is the Difference between Geodon and Seroquel?
Both Geodon and Seroquel are antipsychotic medications, prescribed for the same FDA approved and off-label uses. They are both available as oral medications, but Geodon also can be given intramuscularly by injection.
Both drugs cause the same very long and diverse list of side effects.
The half-life of each is virtually the same, six to seven hours.
Seroquel appears to be significantly cheaper than Geodon.
Seroquel has been around since 1997, and Geodon was FDA approved in 2001.
Beyond that, the two drugs are remarkably similar.
Can Geodon Cause Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)?
Geodon, like all antipsychotic medications, carries a risk of tardive dyskinesia. This is a complex condition that is caused by certain medications and in most cases, sadly, it is irreversible.10 Some rare cases have been reported where a person stopped their antipsychotic medication and the tardive dyskinesia symptoms improved. Tardive dyskinesia has occurred after short-duration antipsychotic use and after long-term use as well. There is some evidence of switching medications with successful results in some cases.3
Always talk to your physician to ensure you understand such risks of medication.
Here are some of the repetitive and involuntary symptoms seen in Tardive Dyskinesia:
Puckering or smacking the lips
Tongue protrusion or thrusting
Facial grimaces or unusual expressions
Blinking or other rapid and uncontrolled eye movements
Similar jerking repetitive and uncontrolled body motions as well as facial ticks
Treatment for Geodon Abuse and Addiction?
Rather than deal with the extreme changes all on your own, it may seem more appealing to do the withdrawal in a comfortable and private inpatient setting, where meals are prepared, and a stress-free environment is offered, with adequate nurturing support, monitoring, and personal attention.
Our center provides a peaceful and relaxed setting, with the advantages of friendly support staff and caring therapists, nurses, and doctors. Our staff shares a common passion for helping their clients succeed.
For coming off medications such as Geodon, the center offers a vast number of therapies to assist and ease the process, in a safe and well-staffed, welcoming inpatient facility. You can visit our services overview page to get more information on these support services while inpatient at Alternative to Meds Center.
The task of improving health during the reduction of, and possibly complete Geodon withdrawal, is one that requires competence, technical proficiency, and caring. For more information on our facility’s excellent, compassionate, and effective inpatient treatment for Geodon withdrawal, please contact us.
Diane is an avid supporter and researcher of natural mental health strategies. Diane received her medical writing and science communication certification through Stanford University and has published over 3 million words on the topics of holistic health, addiction, recovery, and alternative medicine. She has proudly worked with the Alternative to Meds Center since its inception and is grateful for the opportunity to help the founding members develop this world-class center that has helped so many thousands regain natural mental health.
Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.