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FDA puts out warning on Saphris


Today, the Food and Drug Administration put out a warning that serious allergic responses have been reported with the atypical antipsychotic drug called Saphris made by Merck. The drug has been on the market and prescribed for two years.

Saphris is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or manic depression and acute mania in adults. It is not used for dementia or Alzheimer’s. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain. The active drug in Saphis is called asenapine.

Some people use it for off label purposes as well. Some doctors use asenapine with combat veterans who suffer from severe post traumatic stress syndrome nightmares. This use has not been approved by the FDA or allowed by the United States Department of Veterans Administration.

Some side effects generally include heart failure, sudden death or pneumonia specifically in patients with dementia-related conditions. Sensitivity to temperature is also common so it is easier to get overheated and dehydrated while taking it. It is not recommended that you drive or do anything that might be compromised by impaired thinking.

Often Saphis is combined with a mood stabilizer like lithium or valproate.

If you are currently taking Saphris or asenapine by any other name, contact your doctor to assess your threat of an allergic response. As always any side effects like temperature, stiff neck, nausea, or dizziness should be reported as soon as possible. Only take the medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Source: Drugs.com, Reuters

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