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Asenapine is used in treatment of adults with schizophrenia (psychiatric or mental disorder with symptoms such as emotional instability, unrealistic but firm belief, and withdrawal into the self) and moderate to severe manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder (unusually irritated mood and depression occurring simultaneously in short succession) either alone or in combination with other medicines.

How it works

Asenapine belongs to a class of medications called antipsychotics. It works by affecting the levels of chemicals called dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters) thereby restoring the balance of these chemicals in brain.

Common side effects

Parkinsonism, Abnormal involuntary movements, Movement disorder, Anxiety, Dizziness, Bitter taste, Abnormal muscle tone, Fatigue, Increased appetite, Liver enzyme increased, Muscle rigidity, Sedation, Sleepiness, Weight gain, Reduced sense of touch


Expert advice

  • Do not swallow asenapine sublingual tablet, the tablet should be placed under tongue until dissolved.
  • Consult your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions: high body temperature and muscle stiffness (neuroleptic malignant syndrome), have had abnormal tongue or face movements (tardive dyskinesia), heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, fits (epilepsy), difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia), liver problems, have thoughts of suicide, difficulty controlling core body temperature, abnormally high blood prolactin levels (hyperprolactinemia).
  • Seek immediate medical advice if you faint when you get up from a sitting or lying position, sweating or having a lowered level of consciousness (neuroleptic malignant syndrome) after taking asenapine.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking asenapine as it may worsen the side effects.
  • Do not eat or drink for 10 minutes after taking asenapine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery as asenapine may cause sleepiness.

Frequently asked questions


 Q. Is asenapine FDA approved?
Yes, asenapine is approved by FDA.
Q. Is asenapine a narcotic, or controlled substance?
Asenapine is not narcotic, controlled substance.
 Q. Is asenapine addictive?
 Asenapine is not addictive.
Q. Can I take Xanax or Benadryl with Saphris?
Xanax (alprazolam) and Benadryl when taken with Saphris (asenapine) may lead to increased side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.
Q. Does asenapine cause weight gain?
Asenapine can cause weight gain.

Content on this page was last updated on 14 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)