Common Brand Name(s): Saphris
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
There may be a slightly increased risk of serious, possibly fatal side effects (such as stroke, heart failure, fast/irregular heartbeat, pneumonia) when this medication is used by older adults with dementia. This medication is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related behavior problems. Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication, as well as other effective and possibly safer treatments for dementia-related behavior problems, with the doctor.
If you are using asenapine in combination with other medication to treat depression, also carefully read the drug information for the other medication.
This medication is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder). Asenapine helps you to think more clearly, feel less nervous, and take part in everyday life. It may also help to decrease hallucinations (hearing/seeing things that are not there) and prevent severe mood swings. Asenapine is a psychiatric medication that belongs to the class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain (neurotransmitters).
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used in combination with other medication for depression.
How To Use
Take this medication as directed by your doctor, usually 2 times a day. Gently remove the medication from the packaging with dry hands by peeling back the tab. Do not push the tablet through the packaging. Place your dose of this medication under the tongue and allow it to dissolve completely in your saliva. Do not chew, crush, split, or swallow the tablet whole. Do not eat or drink anything for 10 minutes after taking this medication.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed, even if you are feeling better and thinking more clearly. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and weight gain may occur. Numbness/tingling of the mouth may also occur but usually goes away within 1 hour. Sores, blisters, or pain under the tongue may rarely occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Dizziness and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
This drug may cause muscle/nervous system problems (extrapyramidal symptoms-EPS). Your doctor may prescribe another medication to decrease these side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of the following side effects:
- feelings of anxiety/agitation/jitteriness
- drooling/trouble swallowing
- restlessness/constant need to move
- shaking (tremor)
- shuffling walk
- stiff muscles
- severe muscle spasms/cramping (such as twisting neck, arching back, eyes rolling up)
- mask-like expression of the face
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Infrequently, this medication may cause face/muscle twitching and uncontrollable movements (tardive dyskinesia). In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any uncontrollable movements such as lip smacking, mouth puckering, tongue thrusting, chewing, or unusual arm/leg movements.
This drug may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Weight gain from this drug may increase the risk of this side effect. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
In rare cases, asenapine may increase your level of a certain substance made by the body (prolactin). For females, this increase in prolactin may result in unwanted breast milk, missed/stopped periods, or difficulty becoming pregnant. For males, it may result in decreased sexual ability, inability to produce sperm, or enlarged breasts. If you develop any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.
Rarely, with similar drugs, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea)
- signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat)
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:
- severe dizziness
- slow heartbeat
This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness
- severe tiredness
- severe confusion
- fast/irregular heartbeat
- dark urine
- signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine)
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
See also Warning section.
Before taking asenapine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- liver problems
- heart problems (such as past heart attack, angina, abnormal heart rhythm)
- diabetes (including family history)
- low blood pressure
- low white blood cell count
- loss of too much body water (dehydration)
- breast cancer
- substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol)
- Alzheimer's disease
- trouble swallowing
- breathing trouble during sleep (sleep apnea)
Asenapine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using asenapine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:
- certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
- family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using asenapine safely.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication may make you sweat less, making you more likely to get heat stroke. Avoid doing things that may cause you to overheat, such as hard work or exercise in hot weather, or using hot tubs. When the weather is hot, drink a lot of fluids and dress lightly. If you overheat, quickly look for a place to cool down and rest. Get medical help right away if you have a fever that does not go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and QT prolongation (see above). Drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely develop symptoms including muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn especially during their first month, tell the doctor right away.
Since untreated mental/mood problems (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression) can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Asenapine can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. One example is paroxetine, among others.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness/deep sleep, agitation, confusion, fainting.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, complete blood counts, cholesterol/triglyceride levels) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised January 2020.
Copyright(c) 2020 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.