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Latuda Drug Information

Atypical Antipsychotic - Generic Lurasidone


Updated April 28, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Latuda is one of the newer generation of antipsychotic medications that are called atypical. At this time, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved it for use in the treatment of schizophrenia. Since other mental disorders, including bipolar, may also have psychotic symptoms, some doctors are prescribing Latuda off-label to patients with illnesses other than schizophrenia.

Clinical trials of lurasidone in patients with bipolar disorder are already underway.

Common Antipsychotic Warnings

Like all antipsychotic drugs, Latuda carries a boxed warning saying it is not approved for use in elderly patients with dementia due to increased risk of death (full text of warning).

There is the potential for developing neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) when taking Latuda. Symptoms can include abnormally high fever, rigid muscles, profuse sweating, irregular heartbeat and other symptoms. Kidney failure can result. Although rare, this is an extremely serious and potentially fatal condition, so it is important to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment at once.

Although tardive dyskinesia tardive dyskinesia (TD) is rarer among patients taking the atypical antipsychotics compared to the older typical agents, TD may still rarely develop in patients taking Latuda. The most common presentation of tardive dyskinesia is forms of uncontrolled facial movements. Again, know the symptoms of this condition and contact your doctor at once if they appear.

There are additional warnings common to all antipsychotics about less serious possible side effects. Read all the literature accompanying your prescription carefully.

Latuda and Weight Issues, Blood Sugar and Fats, and Diabetes

All antipsychotic medications also carry warnings about the possibility of weight gain, increased blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides, with the potential to lead to diabetes. However, the clinical trials and studies so far have indicated that Latuda's effect on weight is more complex. One study found that some patients gained weight while others lost weight. Overall, it is currently considered not to be associated with weight gain.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects in clinical trials were:
  • sleepiness
  • nausea
  • akathisia, characterized by uncontrollable restless movements, and
  • parkinsonism, with symptoms including tremor, difficulty walking, stiff muscles and others.
The latter two are movement disorders that can be serious and/or extremely distressing, so again, knowing the symptoms is recommended.

Dystonia, another movement disorder, was less frequent but still significantly higher in patients taking Latuda than in those who took a placebo. Dystonia is characterized by muscles contracting parts of the body abnormally.

Dystonia and akathisia are extrapyramidal side effects.

Use in Pregnancy

Latuda has not yet been studied in humans. At this time, the recommendation is that the drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Laino, C. Lurasidone Not Associated With Weight Gain in Patients With Schizophrenia. DocGuide.com. 11 May 2012.
Latuda® Full Prescribing Information. Sunovia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. April 2012.

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