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Asenapine

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IMPORTANT WARNING
Use in older adults: [More...]
Why is this medication prescribed?
Asenapine is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Asenapine is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat or prevent episodes of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood) or mixed mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood and symptoms of depression) in people with bipolar I disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of mania, episodes of depression and other abnormal moods). Asenapine is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.

How should this medicine be used?
Asenapine comes as a sublingual tablet to dissolve under the tongue. It is usually taken twice a day. Take asenapine at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take asenapine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Do not remove asenapine sublingual tablets from the package until just before you are ready to take them, and be sure that your hands are dry when you handle the tablets. When you are ready to take a tablet, follow the package directions to remove the tablet from the case without pushing the tablet through the tablet pack or breaking the tablet. After you remove the tablet, place it under your tongue and wait for it to dissolve. Do not swallow, split, chew, or crush the tablet. Do not eat or drink anything for 10 minutes after the tablet dissolves.

If you are taking asenapine to treat bipolar disorder, your doctor may decrease your dose if you experience side effects. Tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with asenapine.

Asenapine may help to control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to take asenapine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking asenapine without talking to your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking asenapine,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?
Asenapine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTION section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: Asenapine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your weight should be checked regularly while you are receiving this medication.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

Last Revised - 12/15/2011
© 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.
ASHP
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