Antipsychotic drugs like Latuda are commonly used in a crisis situation, such as an extreme episode of psychosis. Assessment as to whether the situation was temporary is often not pursued, and the patient may be left on the medication for a much longer time than was necessary. It may be easier to find a doctor to prescribe Latuda than one who is confident or familiar enough to taper the patient off when the time comes. A person in this predicament would be well-advised to seek a treatment facility that has the kind of medical expertise that is needed to successfully resolve this possible situation. Latuda withdrawal symptoms may be quite mild for some, while for others the withdrawals can be severe and extremely hard to tolerate. There are safety reasons why withdrawal from an atypical antipsychotic drug such as Latuda should only be done in a setting where careful monitoring and guidance are offered, and inpatient if possible so that even small changes in symptoms can be addressed quickly.
Latuda is a relatively new drug and there is an accumulating body of information that shows anecdotal reports of symptoms and difficulties during withdrawal. The problem with citing anecdotal reports is that there is lacking contextual data or lab testing, etc., to really analyze properly. However, there have been very few clinical trials on Latuda withdrawal. The only Latuda withdrawal study we found was actually not focused on withdrawal at all, but on maintenance dosage safety.8 We also look to reports sourced from personal stories and from a well-researched atypical antipsychotic comparison chart based on the research of Jibson et al of various second-generation antipsychotics, and other relatively small clinical studies on antipsychotic withdrawal symptoms.9-12
Latuda Withdrawal Symptoms include:
Temporomandibular disorders such as jaw clenching, teeth grinding, muscle tension, and pain in the neck and jaw may emerge that were previously masked by medication10
Anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and agitation, these symptoms may presage a return of psychosis11
Akathisia* (overwhelming internal distress, with a compulsion to rock, march, pace, etc.)16-19
Depression, anxiety, lethargy16-19
Psychosis, hallucination, delusion16-20
*According to Jibson et al’s comparison published online by Health Alliance, Latuda is quite similar in action to Abilify and other second-generation antipsychotics.4,20
Most medical professionals may feel a bit lost trying to navigate Latuda withdrawal help. The potential complications may require a residential setting.
Antipsychotics, like Latuda, are generally given to someone in crisis. But does that always mean that a lifetime of being medicated is necessary?
Do Your Symptoms Require Latuda?
Alternative to Meds has been guiding Latuda and other similar antipsychotic withdrawals and Latuda alternatives for over 15 years. We have published evidence regarding our success. We find that many times, the causes of the psychosis may have been transient, that other street drugs may have been involved, that blood sugar imbalances may have played a part, and that the person might have even been misdiagnosed. And considering the side-effects of a medication like Latuda, investigating other options is certainly warranted.
Latuda FDA Notes: Latuda is an atypical or second-generation antipsychotic medication approved to treat schizophrenia and depression associated with bipolar disorder. The FDA warns safety has not been studied or established for use in pediatric populations, and also cautions consumers of the increased suicide risk under age 25, and increased mortality in dementia patients 65+. Latuda (generic lurasidone) is a relatively new drug, approved by the FDA in 2013. While the medical literature on Latuda widely suggests that it is safe to take as prescribed, that it can help someone with schizophrenia think more clearly, can help with bipolar depressive episodes, and can raise the quality of life for some, nonetheless, certain precautions should carefully inform the decision to start or stop Latuda. We hope the following information will assist you in that regard.
15 Years Experience by Professionals Who Understand Your Journey.
Latuda was approved by the FDA for treating adult schizophrenia and for depressive episodes in bipolar patients. While the FDA approval specifies depressive episodes in bipolar, no studies have provided sufficient evidence of efficacy in treating manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
Off label uses for Latuda cover a wide range, including insomnia, OCD, Tourette’s, autism, borderline personality disorder, and other psychiatric disorders.26
The package insert states that elderly patients with symptoms of dementia should not be prescribed because of the increased risk of death in that segment of the population. The medication carries black box warning labels for the pediatric (child/adolescent) population (under age 25), particularly in relation to increased suicidality for this age group, as well as cautions for taking Latuda during pregnancy because of the risks of birth defects and infant withdrawal syndrome after birth.3,21
Latuda Withdrawal Help
Because of the long-acting nature of antipsychotic medications and the typically critical scenarios in which they are prescribed, Latuda withdrawal help is especially advised. Antipsychotic drug withdrawal needs to be very gradual and slow, over months or longer.20 The risks of abrupt or too fast cessation or trying to quit Latuda on your own give considerable need for caution. Always seek help and guidance for Latuda withdrawal.
Getting Off Latuda and Dopamine Fluctuations
Unless a medical emergency arises where the drug must be immediately withdrawn to save the patient’s life, as in Steven-Johnson syndrome, or NMS, Latuda cessation is recommended to be done on a gradual tapering basis to mitigate the severity of withdrawal phenomena.
It is thought that Latuda may deflect dopamine from the D2 receptor and that this could reduce psychotic symptoms. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with “reward” and also regulates voluntary movements, mood, sleep, appetite, learning, and uncountable other functions in the body. When this natural chemical is suppressed, a person may lose the sensation of reward in life, making long-term use particularly subject to non-compliance as well as using stimulants to revive some pleasure in life. Dopamine suppresses prolactin, and this is thought to be why male and female breast enhancement and lactation are side effects of dopamine agonist drugs.27 Dopamine fluctuations are of prime concern both in managing antipsychotic medications and in safely withdrawing from them.
As is the case with most drugs, the body has the ability to adapt to medication over time, which limits its effectiveness. Based on the aforementioned theory of the drug’s mechanism of restricting the expression of dopamine, during Latuda withdrawal a surge of dopamine expression may occur, which would flood the up-regulated (highly sensitive) receptors. This may clinically present as a rapid onset of re-emerging psychosis that needs to be addressed without delay.16,17
There may be a point where the patient becomes resistive or unable to follow pragmatic guidelines and directions when such changes occur. In an outpatient setting, working closely with a physician with hospital admitting privileges is highly advised to regain control in an effective yet compassionate way.
In extreme cases, a decision may be made to hospitalize the patient under the care of trusted physicians, so that after stabilization, resuming the taper at a much slower pace may be able to be considered. Such considerations are more relevant in cases where the patient has been medicated for many years. With such careful precautions and procedures, many patients can transition to either being completely medication-free or to the smallest possible dose that yet supports the highest possible quality of life.26
Latuda Alternative Names and Slang
Latuda is the trade name for the generic drug lurasidone. Latuda is also sold under many other trade names, as the medication is sold in various countries. In India, for example, the drug is sold under various brand names:
The generic active ingredient is lurasidone. Lurasidone is nearly identical in molecular structure to certain other antipsychotic medications, such as Risperdal, Fanapt, and Invega.
No evidence has been found of Latuda being popularized as a street drug for producing euphoric effects, or for having acquired a street “nickname.”15
Latuda Side Effects
Many patients taking Latuda may experience mild or no severe side effects. Where side effects do present, these can be severe and some rare side effects may come on quickly and can be potentially life-threatening. Some severe side effects include various movement disorders and serious metabolic and other changes common to virtually all antipsychotic medications.
Latuda Side Effects include:
Akathisia (motor movement disorder accompanied by a relentless compulsion to stay in motion)1,26
Tardive dyskinesia* (a typically irreversible movement disorder involving twisting or writhing, spasmodic gestures, rolling tongue, facial movements, etc.) can occur even after brief Latuda use and may emerge after discontinuation of Latuda.5,6,19,20,23
Metabolic changes can result in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk, weight gain, hyperglycemia, breast enhancement and lactation in males and females, and other consequences.1,5,7,25,27
Parkinsonism (muscle rigidity, slowness that looks like Parkinson’s but is drug-induced) and other extrapyramidal disorders involving spasmodic or unnatural fixed or repeating muscle movements or gestures or postures26
Sedation, or its opposite, restlessness, and agitation in some persons.15
Tachycardia (elevated heart rate when the body is at rest)
Increased rate of infections including urinary tract infection
Influenza type symptoms
*Tardive dyskinesia is drug-induced in 20% to 50% of all patients taking antipsychotic medications, and TD occurs with a wide variety of other classes of drugs as well, according to Cornett et al’s study published in the summer of 2017.
The FDA label for Latuda (lurasidone hydrochloride) tablets lists these side effects:
Suicidal behavior (19 more suicides occurred during short-term (8 weeks) trials compared to placebo in each group of 1000 participants during these clinical trials) 1
Worsening suicidal ideation
NMS, or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome: symptoms include altered mental state, irregular heartbeat/blood pressure, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), rigidity in muscles, diaphoresis (acute sweating as a drug reaction), acute renal failure (kidney failure), and hyperpyrexia (fever above 106.7°F).1
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level) leading to coma or death
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (potentially fatal reaction to drugs, causes fever, raised hives or welts that erupt, crust, and cause the skin to fall away, susceptible to sepsis and requires care in ICU or burn unit)
Cerebrovascular events in elderly patients with dementia leading to stroke, death, or other adverse events
There may be other symptoms not listed here. Should side effects become noticeably uncomfortable, one should seek medical attention right away.
Latuda (lurasidone) FAQs
Information is provided below on some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Latuda, such as drug class and whether it has any efficacy as a sleep aid.
Is Latuda an Antidepressant?
No. Latuda is an atypical antipsychotic medication mainly used in the treatment of schizophrenia. However, for depressive episodes in bipolar patients, the drug has been used to treat such periodic symptoms. It is not shown effective in treating the manic side of bipolar.
Is Latuda Used as a Sleep Aid?
Latuda is a relatively new antipsychotic medication, which is not classed as a sleep aid. In some cases where it is prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia, Latuda causes somnolence, meaning extraordinarily long and deep sleep patterns. Such off-label uses of Latuda have been reported, but no FDA approval exists to treat insomnia with Latuda. 4,26
Treatment for Safe Latuda Withdrawal or Reduction
Latuda is a relatively new medication and likely there is more to learn about its effects and efficacy in treating schizophrenia and depressive episodes in bipolar diagnoses. What we do know is that prior to prescribing medications, often there is little to no investigative work done to isolate possible causes for the conditions that are problematic and need to be resolved.
Latuda is not a drug that is typically associated with abuse or addiction or addictive behaviors. However, Latuda withdrawal, like coming off any drug that causes dependence can be complex, requiring a specific and uniquely tailored program for the individual to successfully overcome the symptoms that became problematic during cessation, and also to address the reasons for the prescription in the first place.
To help understand what Latuda does to the brain, Alternative to Meds Center has accumulated data from genetic studies we have done. We have observed an association between certain conditions of psychosis, as well as low mood, with the COMT (enzymatic degradation effect) causing genetic polymorphism.
One possible theory to explain this correlation, at least in part, could point to the way that the biological or neuronal pathways for dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline function, specifically in regards to these effects on the limbic system, or emotional brain. Further, if a person’s ability to break down dopamine results from COMT impairment, it would follow that the person may be suffering from an excess of dopamine.
These and other factors need to be taken into consideration regarding withdrawal from Latuda, and for some, to achieve the greatest reduction possible with the best quality of life as a valid and practical health goal.
Latuda Withdrawal Help at Alternative to Meds Center
More study and ongoing research is needed in the field of mental and biological health concerning the ways drugs may affect the workings of the brain. While psychiatric drugs are largely considered “mental health” treatment, they can affect every cell in the entire body, every organ in the body, every system in the body, and the way these intricate, finely tuned systems interact with one another. Drugs can have benefits as well as detrimental effects. The FDA is constantly upgrading new health warnings on heavy drugs such as Latuda.5
At Alternative to Meds Center, we address all practical aspects of recovering from medication withdrawals, including investigating root causes for the person’s original symptoms that were being medicated. We have had much client success from holistically addressing root causes.
Laboratory testing, corrected diet, exercise, neurotoxin removal through colon hydrotherapy, sauna and other cleansing methods, can all have profound and surprisingly positive results. There may be other solutions available to you besides prescription medication. Our Latuda withdrawal help includes finding and addressing precipitating factors and correcting ongoing nutrition deficits, addressing unhandled trauma or other issues with counseling, as well as neurotransmitter rehabilitation, acupuncture, Qi Gong, and many other relaxation therapies in a warm inviting atmosphere, where social connections are friendly and supportive. We also offer massage, IV+NAD therapy, nebulized glutathione, Equine therapy, and much, much more. Please contact Alternative to Meds Center for more information on our holistic therapies that may prove beneficial in resolving the challenges to your health. Such problems may respond surprisingly well to natural mental health treatment. You may be able to begin to experience the relief from the kind of Latuda withdrawal help you or your loved one has been searching for.
3. NAMI authors, “Lurasidone (latuda).” Factsheet, a collaboration between NAMI (the National Alliance for Mental Health) and The College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists, under the Creative Commons Attribution License [cited 2021 July 12]
13. Alicja Lerner, Michael Klein, Dependence, withdrawal and rebound of CNS drugs: an update and regulatory considerations for new drugs development, Brain Communications, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2019, fcz025, https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcz025 [cited 2021 July 13]
19. Patti L, Gupta M. Change In Mental Status. [Updated 2020 Aug 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441973/ [cited 2021 July 13]
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.