Ziprasidone for anxiety & depression.

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Is ziprasidone (geodon) right for you?

There are many different types of antidepressant medications, and it’s important to find the one that’s right for you. At Brightside, we’re here to help. Our providers are knowledgeable about each type of medication for anxiety and depression and specialize in finding the best fit for your individual needs. As part of your treatment, your provider may recommend ziprasidone to help you feel better.

Ziprasidone is a commonly used antipsychotic medication that is often well tolerated. Below, we offer some helpful information about ziprasidone so you can work with your provider to determine if it’s right for you and make an informed decision about your care.

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Mimi Winsberg, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Stanford-trained Psychiatrist with 25 years of practice

Get a ziprasidone prescription and ongoing anxiety & depression care for only $95 / month.

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Step 1

Fill out our free mental health assessment.

Start with a clinically-proven set of questions to shed light on how you’re feeling. We’ll help you understand your symptoms, then recommend the best treatment plan for you–including medication, therapy, or both.

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Step 2

Connect with your provider for a personalized treatment plan.

Get matched with an expert provider for an online video consultation. Share how you’re feeling and then decide on next steps–together.

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Step 3

Make progress and start feeling better.

Stay in touch with with unlimited messaging, plus monthly video sessions with your Therapist and unlimited video consults with your Psychiatric Provider.

Then measure your progress with regular check-ins to monitor your symptoms and make adjustments until your treatment is right for you.

Everything you need to know about ziprasidone

What is ziprasidone, and how does it work?

Ziprasidone, commonly sold under the brand name Geodon, is an antipsychotic medication first approved for usage in the United States in 2001. It is commonly prescribed to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, including delusions and hallucinations. It can also help treat manic or mixed-manic/depressive episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Ziprasidone works by managing dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain to regulate thinking and behavior.

What conditions does ziprasidone treat?

At Brightside, our psychiatric providers specialize in personalizing treatment for each person. We give you personal attention and expert advice you can count. By using our expertise, we’ll help you find the medication that’s right for you. It’s important that you understand how medications work and what to expect so that your treatment is worry-free.

Our providers use ziprasidone primarily to treat symptoms of depression associated with bipolar disorder.

What symptoms can ziprasidone help treat?

Ziprasidone can target and treat several indicators of bipolar disorder. We use this medication to treat a number of symptoms, including:

  • Acute agitation 
  • Delusions
  • Disorganized or nonsensical thinking
  • Episodes of mania mixed with episodes of depression 
  • Feelings of frenzy or abnormal excitement (mania)  
  • Hallucinations
  • Major depressive disorder with anxiety (also known as “anxious depression”)

Will ziprasidone work for me?

At Brightside, we can help you find the right medication and the right treatment specific to your needs. Your age, gender, genetic background, and other variables–including other medications you may be taking–can affect how well you respond to a certain medication.

To ensure that your medication is a fit for your personal health situation, our psychiatric providers will get to know your individual health history and talk with you about your symptoms and specific health needs.

You can expect to see an improvement in your depression or bipolar symptoms within 4-6 weeks after beginning ziprasidone. We understand that this can feel like a long time, but it’s important to continue taking your medication even if you don’t feel improvement right away. In some cases, your provider may need to adjust your dosage for you to get the maximum benefit from the medication. At Brightside, our board-certified providers will closely monitor your progress to make sure this medication and dosage is right for you.

We know that mental health concerns often can’t wait, so if you need to meet with a provider right away to discuss a new or existing medication, just let us know. We’re here for you.

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How long do people generally take ziprasidone?

Once your provider prescribes ziprasidone for you, you may have questions – including how long you’ll need to take it. The length of time you’ll take this medication depends on your diagnosis and specific symptoms. You’ll likely continue taking this medication until your provider advises you to stop based on conversations with you and evaluations of your progress.

While there isn’t a specific amount of time ziprasidone is usually taken for, it’s essential to keep taking it even after you begin feeling better. Also, it’s a good idea to speak with your Brightside provider before you stop taking the medication, as they will work with you to adjust the dosage or treatment altogether.

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How effective is ziprasidone?

Ziprasidone is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the acute treatment of psychosis in schizophrenia and mania in bipolar disorder. Data suggest that ziprasidone may be a first-line treatment for patients with bipolar mania. 

Research has shown ziprasidone to be effective in the long-term treatment of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

Does ziprasidone change my personality?

Antipsychotic medications do not change your personality. Instead, they work to fight symptoms of bipolar disorder, including hallucinations, delusions, and manic episodes, so that you can get back to feeling more like yourself.

Are there side effects associated with ziprasidone?

Ziprasidone can cause minor side effects in some people. These include: 

  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Increased hunger
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Weight gain

Some patients using ziprasidone have developed tardive dyskinesia, a potentially permanent side effect that can cause involuntary muscle movement. More rarely, ziprasidone has been associated with a serious side effect called neuroleptic malignant syndrome, marked by an irregular heartbeat, high fever, and severe muscle stiffness.  

Contact your Brightside provider right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fainting 
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • High fever 
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe muscle stiffness 
  • Suicidal thoughts

At Brightside, your health and safety are our highest priorities. We make sure you get individual attention and guidance to make sure you feel your best.

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Does ziprasidone have withdrawal symptoms?

You should not stop taking ziprasidone – or any antipsychotic medication – abruptly. Stopping ziprasidone suddenly can lead to a relapse of psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, or manic episodes.

Quitting an antipsychotic medication abruptly can lead to an increased risk of suicide or self-harm. Sudden antipsychotic withdrawal has also been linked to the development of side effects, including muscle and motor control issues. If you wish to change your medication, you should plan to stop using ziprasidone slowly – gradually reducing your dosage under the close monitoring of one of our providers.

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Can I take ziprasidone during pregnancy or while nursing?

Ziprasidone is categorized as a Pregnancy Category Class C drug by the FDA. This classification means that while extensive research on pregnant women has not been done, research using animals suggests that ziprasidone could potentially negatively impact a developing baby.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you’ll want to talk with your provider to weigh the benefits and risks of beginning a ziprasidone prescription. 

If you already use ziprasidone, discuss your case with your provider to see if the benefits of continuing with ziprasidone during pregnancy outweigh any potential risks to your baby. Because there has been little research on the safety of ziprasidone for nursing mothers, the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that other forms of antipsychotic medications may be preferred for lactating women.

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Is ziprasidone addictive?

Ziprasidone is generally considered non-addictive and is not habit-forming.

What does the FDA say about ziprasidone?

You can view the FDA black box warning for ziprasidone here. If you have questions about whether the black box warning for ziprasidone applies to you, please talk to your provider.

Conditions we treat with ziprasidone

Brightside Psychiatric Providers prescribe ziprasidone alongside other medicines to treat conditions including:
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