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Lurasidone (Latuda®)

Lurasidone (Latuda®) belongs to a group of medications called “atypical antipsychotics” or “second-generation antipsychotics.”

What is this medication used for?

Lurasidone was first developed to treat psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. However, research shows lurasidone can also help treat depression associated with bipolar disorder.

Lurasidone is approved by Health Canada for treatment of schizophrenia in ages 15 and older, and treatment of depression associated with bipolar disorder in ages 13 and older.

When potential benefits outweigh risks, lurasidone may be prescribed “off-label.” Learn more about off-label medication use:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • Have allergies or bad reactions to a medication
  • Take (or plan to take) other prescription or non- prescription medications, including natural medicines. Some medications interact with lurasidone. Your doctor may adjust medication doses or monitor for side effects
  • Have a history (or family history) of kidney, liver or thyroid disease, seizures, bowel obstruction, diabetes or glaucoma
  • Have a history (or family history) of heart disease, arrhythmia or “familial long QT syndrome”
  • Miss a period, are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy
  • Use alcohol or drugs. Taking lurasidone together with certain substances may cause a bad reaction. Learn more at

When will the medication start to work?

Some improvements may be seen within 1 to 2 weeks. It can take up to 6 weeks to see the full benefits of this medication. You (or your family members) may notice clearer thoughts, stable mood, and less agitation or intense fears. If you experience seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not there, this may also decrease or stop entirely.

It is important that you continue taking lurasidone regularly even if you are feeling well, as it can prevent symptoms from returning. Talk with your doctor if you feel lurasidone treatment has not been helpful. Your doctor may recommend switching you to a different medication.

This medication is not addictive. Do not stop taking it before talking to your doctor.

How do I take this medication?

Lurasidone is usually taken once daily at the same time each day with a meal. Usually, you will start with a low dose and slowly increase this dose over several days or weeks, based on how you tolerate it.

Lurasidone comes as film-coated tablets. Tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be divided, crushed, chewed or placed in water. Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking lurasidone, as this can lead to increased blood levels and side effects.

Possible common or serious side effects:

Side effects may be more common when starting a medication or after a dose increase. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if any side effect concerns you.

  • Dizziness, drowsiness or headache
  • Feelings of agitation or restlessness
  • Nausea, stomach ache or constipation
  • Changes in appetite or weight gain
  • Increased blood glucose or cholesterol levels
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Unexplained rash, seizure, fever or excessive sweating
  • Fainting, feeling lightheaded or difficulty with balance
  • Feelings of restlessness and an inability to sit still
  • Breast tenderness or swelling (males and females), or changes in menstrual cycle
  • Frequent urination accompanied by excessive thirst
  • Shaking, muscle spasm/stiffness, pain or weakness
  • Unusual movements of fingers, toes, neck, lips or tongue
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself, suicide, increased hostility or worsening symptoms

What precautions should my doctor and I be aware of when taking this medication?

  • When you take this medication, your body may have difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature. Drink enough fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. Avoid doing a lot of physical activity on hot days.
  • While taking this medication, if you feel dizzy, drowsy or slowed down, do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery. Alcohol could make this worse. Try to avoid alcohol while taking lurasidone.
  • Lurasidone can cause a rare side effect called “tardive dyskinesia.” Symptoms include involuntary movements of the lips, tongue, toes, hands or neck. Stopping or switching this medication at first signs will decrease the chances this side effect will continue. These movements may become permanent without a medication change.
  • Lurasidone can cause a rare side effect called “neuroleptic malignant syndrome.” Symptoms include severe muscle stiffness, high fever, sweating, increased or irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure.

How does this medication work?

Like other antipsychotics, lurasidone affects actions of the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin. The exact way that lurasidone improve symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other conditions is not known.

What special instructions should I follow while using this medication?

  • Keep all appointments with your doctor and the lab. Your doctor may order lab tests to check how you are responding and monitor for side effects.
  • Try to keep a healthy, well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. Some people may gain weight as a result of increased appetite.
  • Do not allow anyone else to use your medication.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose of this medication?

If you forget to take a dose of lurasidone, take the missed dose as soon as you remember with a meal. However, if it is within 8 hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. DO NOT double your next dose to try to ‘catch up’.

How do I store this medication?

Keep this medication in the original container, stored at room temperature away from moisture and heat and protected from light. Keep this medication out of reach and sight of children.

How well does the medication work in children and adolescents?

Evidence supports the use of lurasidone in adolescents and children ages 10 and older. Lurasidone has been shown to be better than placebo (an inactive pill) for treatment of schizophrenia in ages 13 and older, and treatment of depression associated with bipolar disorder in ages 10 and older. Lurasidone has not been well studied in younger children for schizophrenia or depression associated with bipolar disorder. In ages 6 to 17, lurasidone has shown to be no better than placebo for treatment of irritability associated with autism. Lurasidone is sometimes prescribed when other treatments have not been effective or well-tolerated.

How long should I take the medication for?

This depends on the symptoms you have, how frequently they occur, and how long you have had them. Most people will need to take lurasidone for several months. This allows time for symptoms to stabilize and for function to improve. Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of taking lurasidone with you. At this time, you can also discuss how long you might need to take this medication.

If you have schizophrenia and you tolerate lurasidone well, you may be asked to take lurasidone on an ongoing basis. Continuing treatment will significantly decrease the chance that your symptoms will return. Do not increase, decrease, or stop taking this medication without talking with your doctor. If you stop taking lurasidone suddenly, it is possible that your symptoms may return or you may have a bad reaction.

TIP: Use the Kelty Mental Health Antipsychotic Monitoring Form for Children and Adolescents to help measure your progress on this medication.

Also see the Kelty Mental Health document Atypical Antipsychotics & Metabolic Monitoring.

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