Clozaril is an atypical antipsychotic that is approved to treat schizophrenia when other medications have failed. While it is not a cure, the medication is generally successful in managing symptoms and decreasing the risk of recurrent suicidal behavior. Clozaril comes in tablet form and is believed to block or lessen the effects of certain chemicals in the brain.
What Is Clozaril?Clozaril® (clozapine) is a prescription medication that is used to treat schizophrenia in people who have failed to respond to other schizophrenia medications. The drug is also approved to decrease the risk of recurrent suicidal behavior in people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
How Does Clozaril Work?Clozaril belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known how the drug works in the treatment of schizophrenia. However, it is known to block or lessen the effects of several chemicals in the brain. These chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) may be elevated in people with schizophrenia.
The medication is not a cure for schizophrenia, however. It only helps to control symptoms (see Symptoms of Schizophrenia).
When and How to Take ItThe following are some general considerations for when and how to take Clozaril:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth one to three times daily.
- You can take Clozaril with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
- Clozaril should be taken at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Clozaril will not work if you stop taking it.