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a sedative and antipsychotic agent of the dibenzodiazepine group; used in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Apo-Clozapine (CA) Clozaril, Denazapine (UK), Fazaclo ODT, Gen-Clozapine (CA) PMS-Clozapine (CA), Zaponex (UK)

Pharmacologic class: Dibenzodiazepine derivative

Therapeutic class: Antipsychotic agent

Pregnancy risk category B

FDA Box Warning

• Because of significant agranulocytosis risk, use only to treat severely ill patients with schizophrenia who don't respond to standard antipsychotic drugs, or to reduce risk of recurrent suicidal behavior in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who risk reexperiencing suicidal behavior. Obtain baseline white blood cell (WBC) and absolute neutrophil counts before therapy, regularly during therapy, and for at least 4 weeks afterward.

• Drug is associated with seizures; likelihood increases at higher doses. Use caution when giving to patients with history of seizures or other predisposing factors. Instruct patient not to engage in activities in which sudden loss of consciousness could cause serious risk to self or others.

• Drug may increase risk of fatal myocarditis, especially during first month of therapy. Discontinue promptly if myocarditis is suspected.

• Orthostatic hypotension with or without syncope may occur. Rarely, collapse is profound and accompanied by respiratory or cardiac arrest, or both. Orthostatic hypotension is more likely during initial titration when dosage is raised rapidly. In patients who've had even brief interval off drug (2 or more days since last dose), start with 12.5 mg once or twice daily.

• During initial therapy, collapse and respiratory and cardiac arrest may occur. Use caution when initiating therapy.

• Drug increased risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis; most deaths have been cardiovascular or infectious. Drug isn't approved for dementia-related psychosis.


Unclear. Thought to interfere with dopamine binding in limbic system of CNS, with high affinity for dopamine4 receptors. May antagonize adrenergic, cholinergic, histaminergic, and serotonergic receptors.


Tablets: 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg

Tablets (orally disintegrating): 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 100 mg

Indications and dosages

Schizophrenia in patients unresponsive to other therapies

Adults: 12.5 mg P.O. daily or b.i.d.; increase daily in 25-to 50-mg increments, as tolerated, to target dosage of 300 to 450 mg/day by end of second week. Make subsequent dosage increases once or twice weekly in increments of 100 mg or less, to a maximum dosage of 900 mg/day P.O. in divided doses.

Dosage adjustment

• Renal impairment

• Elderly patients


• Hypersensitivity to drug

• Uncontrolled seizures

• Severe CNS depression or coma

• Paralytic ileus, myeloproliferative disorders, history of clozapine-induced agranulocytosis or severe granulocytopenia

• Concurrent use of drugs that cause agranulocytosis or bone marrow depression


Use cautiously in:

• hypersensitivity to phenothiazines

• cardiac, hepatic, or renal impairment; CNS tumors; diabetes mellitus; history of seizures; prostatic hypertrophy; intestinal obstruction; angle-closure glaucoma, patients with a history of long QT syndrome or prolonged QT interval or other conditions that may increase risk of prolonged QT interval or sudden death

• elderly patients

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients

• children.


Obtain WBC count before starting therapy. Don't give drug if WBC count is below 3,500/mm3.

• When discontinuing drug, taper dosage gradually over 1 to 2 weeks.

• Be aware that orally disintegrating tablets are meant to dissolve in mouth.

Adverse reactions

CNS: sedation, drowsiness, dizziness, vertigo, headache, tremor, insomnia, disturbed sleep, nightmares, agitation, lethargy, fatigue, weakness, confusion, anxiety, parkinsonism, slurred speech, depression, restlessness, extrapyramidal reactions, tardive dyskinesia, akathisia, syncope, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, autonomic disturbances, seizures

CV: hypotension, tachycardia, ECG changes, chest pain, QT-interval prolongation, myocarditis

EENT: blurred vision, dry eyes, nasal congestion, sinusitis

GI: nausea, vomiting, constipation, dyspepsia, salivation, dry mouth, anorexia

GU: urinary retention, urinary incontinence, urinary frequency and urgency, inhibited ejaculation

Musculoskeletal: muscle spasms, rigidity, back and muscle pain

Hematologic: agranulocytosis, leukopenia, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, eosinophilia

Respiratory: dyspnea, respiratory arrest

Skin: rash, sweating, Stevens-Johnson syndrome

Other: weight gain, fever


Drug-drug. Anticholinergics, antihypertensives, digoxin, warfarin: increased effects of these drugs

Cimetidine, erythromycin: increased therapeutic and toxic effects of clozapine

Epinephrine: increased hypotension

Fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline: increased clozapine blood level

Phenytoin, rifampin: decreased clozapine blood level

Psychoactive drugs: additive psychoactive effect

Drug-diagnostic tests. Granulocytes, hematocrit, hemoglobin, platelets, white blood cells: decreased values

Liver function tests: abnormal values

Pregnancy test: false-positive result

Drug-food. Caffeine: increased clozapine blood level

Drug-herbs. Angel's trumpet, Jimsonweed, scopolia: increased anticholinergic effects

Nutmeg: decreased clozapine efficacy St. John's wort: decreased clozapine blood level

Drug-behaviors. Alcohol use: increased CNS depression

Smoking: decreased clozapine blood level

Patient monitoring

Monitor WBC count weekly for first 6 months of therapy; if it's normal, WBC testing can be reduced to every other week. Notify prescriber immediately if WBC count decreases or agranulocytosis occurs.

• Monitor ECG and liver function test results.

• If drug must be withdrawn abruptly, monitor patient for psychosis and cholinergic rebound (headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).

• Continue to monitor WBC count weekly for 4 weeks after therapy ends.

Patient teaching

• Tell patient to allow orally disintegrating tablet to dissolve in mouth.

• Teach patient about significant risk of agranulocytosis; tell him he'll need to undergo weekly blood testing to check for this blood disorder. Mention that clozapine tablets are available only through a special program that ensures required blood monitoring.

Advise patient to immediately report new onset of lethargy, weakness, fever, sore throat, malaise, mucous membrane ulcers, flulike symptoms, or other signs and symptoms of infection.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, foods, herbs, and behaviors mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


(klō′zə-pēn′, -pĭn)
An antipsychotic drug used as a sedative and in the treatment of schizophrenia.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Clozaril® Psychiatry A dibenzodiazepine antipsychotic and sedative, and effective neuroleptic for acutely psychotic and treatment-resistant schizophrenics, without extrapyramidal effects–dystonia, parkinsonism, tardive dyskinesia or ↑ prolactin levels Adverse effects Hypotension, hypersalivation, sedation, agranulocytosis–1% of Pts, tachycardia, weight gain. See Bundling, Positive and Negative Symptom Scale, Schizophrenia. Cf Haloperidol.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


An antipsychotic drug notable for its absence of side effects such as tremors and repetitive movements (dyskinesias). It does, however, tend to affect white blood cell production and regular blood checks are necessary. Between 1 and 2 per cent of those taking the drug suffer a drop in white cell count. This returns to normal within a month of stopping the drug. Clozapine can restore people to an almost normal life after years of intractable SCHIZOPHRENIA. A brand name is Clozaril.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The subjects, all of whom live in a residential group home, had either failed clozapine (n = 6) or failed several antipsychotics but had not yet received clozapine (n = 4).
Many long-suffering patients with refractory psychosis recover and return to their baseline, thanks to clozapine. In a past editorial, I discussed how one of my patients, Bethany, who had dropped out of college and became homeless for 4 years with refractory delusions and hallucinations, recovered completely when she received clozapine.
Another important hypothesis about cardio toxic effect of clozapine is the rise of catecholamine levels, especially noradrenaline.
It was also understood Mr Jones had not been taking his medication regularly, which could also have caused a rise in clozapine blood levels.
Twenty-eight of the 40 patients not in remission started clozapine; 28 percent of the 18 patients who completed treatment achieved remission.
Clinical studies suggest a gradual titration of clozapine doses every two weeks to reduce the risk of adverse effects such as seizures, hypotension, agranulocytosis and myocarditis (8).
Thus, we prescribed clozapine for treatment-resistant schizophrenia.
Clozapine was stopped and her benztropine and lithium were initially continued as she had been on these for many years.
Although the incidence of clozapine-induced myocarditis is about 0.71.2% in a previous study [4], there should be a high index of suspicion, especially in our case given the temporal association of commencing clozapine to the patient's symptoms.
The patient with schizoaffective disorder we describe initially showed no response to treatment with clozapine and ECT and therefore reached a therapeutic dead end.
She had been prescribed Clozapine to control the side effects caused by brain damage.
Once discharged from hospital, patients prescribed clozapine attend an outpatient phlebotomy clinic on a regular basis as determined by the product license and the Clozaril Patient Monitoring Service (CPMS) [8] for the duration of their treatment.