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Clozapine is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia (psychiatric or mental disorder with unrealistic but firm beliefs) when at least two other anti-psychotic medications have failed to work or have caused severe side effects. It is also used to treat psychotic disorders in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease (abnormal movement and posture disorder), in which other treatments have not worked.

How it works

Clozapine belongs to a class of drugs called as anti-psychotics. It works by decreasing the levels of the chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, which are present in excess in patients with schizophrenia or psychosis.

Common side effects

Constipation, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Headache, Increased saliva production, Restlessness


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Expert advice

  • Inform your doctor before taking the medicine if you have kidney, liver or heart disease, prostate problem, difficulty in passing urine, diabetes or elevated blood sugar levels, chronic constipation, glaucoma, blood clots or history of blood clots, epilepsy, galactose intolerance or Lapp lactase deficiency, diseases of the large intestine, heart problems (problems with QT interval), or if you have risk factors for stroke (high blood pressure or problems in the blood vessels of the brain), or if you have had an abdominal surgery in the past.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery and be careful while getting up from a sitting or lying position after taking clozapine as it may make you feel dizzy.
  • Always ensure you are being regularly monitored for white blood cell count, total blood cell count, heart rate (ECG), liver function, and lipid function by taking appropriate tests.
  • Avoid smoking, regular caffeine intake, and alcohol while taking this medicine, as it may worsen the side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is clozapine safe?
Yes. Clozapine is relatively safe if used as recommended. In case of any side-effects, please consult your doctor.
Q. Is clozapine a narcotic, addictive, controlled substance?
Clozapine is not a narcotic, addictive or a controlled drug.
Q. Is clozapine a benzodiazepine?
No. Clozapine is not a benzodiazepine. It is an anti-psychotic agent.
Q. Can I take ibuprofen with clozapine?
Yes. You can take ibuprofen with clozapine if prescribed by your doctor.
Q. Does clozapine cause erectile dysfunction, tardive dyskinesia, weight-gain, sleepiness or low sperm count?
Clozapine may cause erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, sleepiness, weight gain or tardive dyskinesia. If you experience any such symptoms, please consult your doctor.
Q. Does clozapine help with anxiety?
Clozapine decreases anxiety and other symptoms in patients suffering from schizophrenia.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)