You should google it and look on several sites and get as much info as you can.
They usually offer it if you have tried at least two other antipsychotics (in this country - UK). It is supposed to be more effective than the other antipsychotics.
It has some very serious side effects, in particular agranulocytosis, so you have to have weekly blood tests to start with. It causes very low white blood cells and makes you susceptible to infections, can be fatal. Also can cause serious heart problems and sudden death. And weight gain, metabolic problems and diabetes. Mental Health services think it is worth the risks.
However I read a report recently that said more people die from sudden cardiac death on quetiapine. Huge number in the American military where it is called Serokill by the men (brand name Seroquel). So all antipsychotics are dangerous - and there are lots more side effects, you will see if you research it.
You have to weigh up whether the fact that it is the most effective antipsychotic makes it worth the risk. Not everyone will get every side effect. And the reports by people who take it successfully do seem to support the fact that it can be very good.
I think SarahD summarised it really well, Clozapine is one with a lot of potential downsides and you might want to be careful before starting it. Honestly getting off these drugs is so hard that I'd probably say the same for any mainline antipsychotic.
Clozapine works well for my son JD with his disorganized and grandious scitzophrenia, he was switched meds several times before that and so far the clozapine injection works best for him. He is still sympomatic but can speak rationally most of the time now. He does have some extrapyrmidial symptoms with it that need addressing though and shakiness. They do regular blood tests about every 4 months with it, not sure why. Must admitt havn't looked it up and should. Clozapine (Oral Route) Description and Brand Names - Drugs and Supplements - Mayo Clinic I'd like to add keep in mind some of those severe side effects don't occur often or are very rare, it's easy to scare yourself off meds with the internet. I do trust the Mayoclinic site for comprehensive listing of side effects and possible drug interactions. Most important when starting drugs of this nature is to have at a mimimum, health care aftercare services weekly, to ensure some of those rare symptoms aren't happening with you.
my psych wants me on Clozapine too but I wont take it because of the side effects such as urinary incontinence, huge weight gain, drooling etc. I also read that it is extremely hard to get off it again.All in all I think I would rather stay symptomatic although it is pretty bad at the moment.
I was considered to have treatment resistant schizophrenia, so a psych doc prescribed clozapine for me.
A rare side effect of the drug, is that it can interfere with the production of the sort of blood cells, that are essential to fighting infection. Therefore it can only be prescribed by a consultant psychiatrist (not a GP), and then only after a blood test. Initially the blood tests are taken every week, though I think over time they can be fortnightly or even monthly. The prescription can only be made up by a hospital pharmacist.
The side effects were: continued weight gain; severe constipation; severe night sweats; drooling; and speech disorder - I could not make myself understood, and had to constantly repeat myself until others, even my family, got the gist of what I was saying. This side effect is rare, and I only met one other person who experienced it. There was also a weakness in one of my legs, and I would jolt and fall to the ground, and jolt when I was getting up from the table. This took me by surprise a lot, and made me shout out.
That's the negative side. The positive side? There wasn't one lol. I took the drug for four months, and after that, could stand it no more. My psych doc agreed to revert to my original meds.
You can only give it a try. It could be okay for you. But for me, no way
It depends what the law says where you are. I think in the UK they can if you are sectioned. You could try to negotiate a different drug. I have been offered clozapine or one other, but that one is pretty awful too.