What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It may be several weeks before you see the full effects of this medicine. Contact your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms get worse or if you have new symptoms.
All patients receiving clozapine must be enrolled in a program called the Clozapine REMS Program. Your doctor is responsible for making sure you are enrolled in this program. You must have a weekly blood test when you first begin this medicine. If your blood counts stay in the right range, your doctor will reduce the frequency of the testing. Be sure to report any side effects from using clozapine to your healthcare provider. For more information, visit the Clozapine REMS Program website at www.clozapinerems.com and read the material in the information guide called "What You Need to Know about Clozapine and Neutropenia: A Guide for Patients and Caregivers".
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Do not treat yourself for colds, fever, diarrhea or allergies. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice, some nonprescription medicines may increase possible side effects.
If you notice an increased hunger or thirst, different from your normal hunger or thirst, or if you find that you have to urinate more frequently, you should contact your health care provider as soon as possible. You may need to have your blood sugar monitored. This medicine may cause changes in your blood sugar levels. You should monitor you blood sugar frequently if you have diabetes.
If you smoke, tell your doctor if you notice this medicine is not working well for you. Talk to your doctor if you are a smoker or if you decide to stop smoking.
If you are going to have surgery tell your doctor or health care professional that you are taking this medicine.
This medicine can reduce the response of your body to heat or cold. Dress warm in cold weather and stay hydrated in hot weather. If possible, avoid extreme temperatures like saunas, hot tubs, very hot or cold showers, or activities that can cause dehydration such as vigorous exercise.