Healthy Living

What Is Latuda Used For?

What Is Latuda Used For?

Generic Name: Lurasidone

Brand Name: Latuda

What is Latuda?

Latuda (lurasidone) is an antipsychotic medication that works by changing the effects of brain chemicals. This medication is used for the treatment of schizophrenia in individuals who are 13 years old and above, and bipolar depression in adults and children at least 10 years old. 

Lurasidone is an atypical antipsychotic that helps restore the balance of certain substances in the brain.

Uses

Latuda is used for the treatment of mood or mental disorders such as depression that is related to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This medication can help people to feel less anxious and think more clearly in everyday life. Hallucinations may also be reduced when this medication is taken. This medication may also help improve a person's sleep pattern, energy level, appetite, and mood. 

Before Usage

Individuals who are allergic to lurasidone should not use Latuda. Medications that tend to interact with lurasidone should not be taken at the same time. If you are currently using any of the following medications, treatment modification may be needed:

  • Antibiotics (rifampin, clarithromycin)
  • Antivirals (ritonavir)
  • Antifungals (ketoconazole, voriconazole)
  • Anticonvulsants or anti-seizures (carbamazepine, phenytoin)
  • St. John's wort

This medication is also not recommended for the treatment of psychotic symptoms of dementia. Older adults with dementia and its related conditions may have an increased risk of death if Latuda is taken. Inform your healthcare provider if you have any of the following conditions to make sure that Latuda is safe for you to take:

  • Diabetes or a family history of diabetes
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Elevated levels of cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Low WBC count
  • Heart disease
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Abnormal pituitary or thyroid gland function

Suicidal thoughts in young people are reported after initially taking this medication for the treatment of depression. For this reason, a patient's progress must be regularly monitored by the doctor. Family members or caregivers must also be quick to notice any mood changes or unusual symptoms of the patient. 

When antipsychotic drugs are taken during the last trimester of pregnancy, newborns may have the following problems:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Symptoms of withdrawal
  • Feeding problems
  • Limp or stiff muscles
  • Tremors
  • Fussiness

Women who become pregnant while taking this medication should immediately consult their doctor. Stopping this medication during pregnancy may cause withdrawal symptoms or other problems. 

It is still unknown if lurasidone can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing infant. Ensure to inform your doctor if you are currently breastfeeding your baby. 

This medication is also not approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in children who are below 13 years old and for depression in people who are younger than 18. 

Usage

This medication should be taken by mouth with food and as instructed by your healthcare provider. This drug is usually taken once a day. The drug's dosage also depends on the patient's condition, other medications being taken, and response to treatment. Make sure to inform your doctor and pharmacist about all of the products that you are taking, such as prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, supplements, and other herbal products. 

To get the most benefit from this medication, take it at the same time daily. Even if you already feel better, continue taking this medicine and follow your doctor's prescription. Avoid increasing or decreasing the dosage of this drug without your doctor's advice. Moreover, do not stop taking this medicine unless your doctor specifically says otherwise. 

Dosage 

1. For the treatment of schizophrenia (oral adult dose)

  • Initial dose: 40 mg once a day
  • Maximum dose: 160 mg per day
  • Maintenance dose: 40-160 mg per day

2. For the treatment of bipolar disorder (oral adult dose)

  • Initial dose: 20 mg once a day
  • Maximum dose: 120 mg per day
  • Maintenance dose: 20-120 mg once a day

Things to Avoid While Taking Latuda

While taking this medication, patients may easily become more prone to being dehydrated and overheated. For this reason, drinking plenty of fluids is a must while taking Latuda. Moreover, individuals taking this drug may also become more sensitive to extreme hot or cold temperature. 

Unwanted side effects may also occur when grapefruit juice or grapefruit is consumed since they may interact with this medication. Thus, avoid using grapefruit and its products while taking this drug. 

Avoid operating machinery or driving since this medication may cause severe drowsiness or dizziness, causing injuries, falls, or fractures. Do not get up too fast from a lying or sitting position to avoid dizziness

Restrict alcohol consumption to avoid experiencing dangerous side effects. 

Side Effects

Immediately inform your doctor or pharmacist if the following side effects worsen or persist:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Mask-like expression
  • Shaking
  • Agitation
  • Inability to stay still
  • Weight gain

Your healthcare provider may prescribe another type of medication to help reduce these side effects.

Initially, this medication may cause low blood pressure, which can cause lightheadedness and dizziness. For this reason, people taking this medication may be initially at risk of falling. Slowly get up when standing from a lying or sitting position. 

Let your doctor know right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

Other infrequent side effects of this medication are tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable movements) and facial or muscle twitching. These conditions may also become permanent in some cases. Immediately inform your doctor if you develop any of the following uncontrollable movements:

  • Chewing
  • Strange movements of the arms and legs
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Mouth puckering
  • Lip smacking

This medication may also rarely elevate your blood sugar level, affecting individuals with diabetes. Because of this side effect, weight gain may also be experienced. Immediately inform your doctor if you have diabetes and regularly monitor your blood sugar as instructed. Share your results with your doctor to know if your medication needs to be adjusted, including any diet modification and exercises. 

Cholesterol and triglycerides may also increase along with weight gain and diabetes, and increases your risk of developing heart problems. Make sure to speak with your doctor about the benefits and risks of this taking this medication. 

When it comes to females, this medication may rarely elevate prolactin levels, which may result in:

For males, they may develop the following:

  • Enlarged breasts
  • Problems in sperm production
  • Sexual problems

Inform your doctor if you develop any of the symptoms mentioned above. In rare cases, men may experience a prolonged or painful erection for more than four hours. When you experience this side effect, stop taking this drug right away and seek immediate medical help to help prevent permanent problems. 

Seizure is another serious side effect of this medication. Get immediate medical help if a seizure occurs. A life-threatening medical condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may also occur as a side effect of this medication. Seek immediate medical help if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Severe weakness or tiredness
  • Severe confusion
  • Sweating
  • Muscle weakness, stiffness, pain, or tenderness
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Changes in the amount of urine (a sign of kidney problem)
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat

Although rare, an allergic reaction to this medication may also occur. Seek immediate medical help if you experience any of the following allergic reactions:

  • Severe dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, throat, or tongue

Key Takeaways

  • Latuda (lurasidone) is an antipsychotic medication that works by changing the effects of brain chemicals.
  • Latuda is used for the treatment of mood or mental disorders such as depression that is related to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
  • This medication may also help improve a person's sleep pattern, energy level, appetite, and mood.