Paliperidone is used for the treatment of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. This may result in some combination of delusions and hallucinations. It may also result in extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impair daily functioning and can be disabling. A person with this condition needs lifelong treatment. Early treatment can help get symptoms under control before serious complications develop and may help improve the long-term outlook. Symptoms of schizophrenia may include:
- Disorganized thinking
- Extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behavior
- Negative symptoms (those may have lost interest in everyday activities)
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental disorder in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations, and mood disorder symptoms (mania or depression). The two types of schizoaffective disorder, both of which include some symptoms of schizophrenia are:
- Bipolar type which includes episodes of mania and sometimes major depression
- Depressive type which includes only major depressive episodes
Untreated schizoaffective disorder may lead to problems functioning at work, school, and in social situations. It causes loneliness and trouble holding down a job or attending school. People with this type of condition may need assistance and support with daily functioning.
Paliperidone is in the class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. This helps restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain. This medication will also help you think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less agitated, and take a more active part in your everyday life. Paliperidone is supplied as an extended-release tablet for oral use. Each tablet contains Paliperidone as an active ingredient. This is available in the dosage forms of 1.5 mg, 3 mg, 6 mg, and 9 mg. This is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How does Paliperidone work?
Paliperidone works in the brain where it affects various neurotransmitters in particular dopamine and serotonin (5HT). Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are stored in nerve cells and are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells.
Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters known to be involved in regulating mood and behavior. Psychotic illness is considered to be caused by disturbances in the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Schizophrenia is known to be associated with an overactivity of dopamine in the brain. This may be associated with the delusions and hallucinations that are a feature of this disease.
This medication works by blocking the receptors in the brain that dopamine acts on. This prevents the excessive activity of dopamine and helps control the disease.
How to use Paliperidone?
The dosage will depend on your medical condition, age, weight, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may start at a low dose and gradually increase it. You must take this medication exactly as it is prescribed. Do not take more or less than it is given by your doctor.
Paliperidone is to be taken by mouth. This is usually taken once a day or as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the medicine as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way every day. For the best benefit, take it regularly. This drug may help control your symptoms, but it will not cure your condition. Even if you feel well, continue to take this prescription. Do not suddenly stop taking this without consulting your doctor. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. Never mind the missed dose and follow your regular dosing schedule if it’s almost time for the next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one.
What are the side effects of Paliperidone?
Common side effects:
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- Upset stomach
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Breast swelling or discharge
- Shaking or tremor
- Blurred vision
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty having an orgasm
Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of this drug including:
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty swallowing
- Mental or mood changes
- High fever
- Signs of infection (fever and persistent sore throat)
- Fats or uneven heartbeats
- Feeling like you might pass out
- Trouble swallowing
- Chills, body aches, or flu symptoms
- Sudden numbness or weakness especially on one side of the body
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction:
- Hives or itching
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your lips, face, throat, or tongue
Warnings and Precautions
- Do not take this drug again if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.
- Before taking a dose, let your doctor know if you have ever had liver problems, kidney disease, dementia, or low white blood cell count.
- During pregnancy, Paliperidone should only be used when needed. If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first before using this drug.
- This drug may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Don’t drive or do dangerous activities until you know how this affects you.
- This medication may make you sweat less, making you more likely to get heatstroke. Avoid doing things that may cause you to overheat such as hard work or exercise in hot weather.
- Do not share this drug with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
- Consult your doctor right away if you experience any abnormal movements particularly of the lips, face, jaw, or tongue while having this treatment.
- This is not recommended for people who have any severe narrowing or blockage in their gut or for people who have difficulty swallowing.
- This should not be used in children less than 15 years of age.
Use this medication with caution in people with:
- A personal or family history of an abnormal heart rhythm
- A history of stroke or mini-stroke
- Low blood pressure
- A history of seizures
- Parkinson’s disease
- Disease associated with chronic severe diarrhea