February 08, 2008

Geodon / Zeldox (New Medication) Available in Canada

Pfizer announced today that Canadians with schizophrenia now have a new treatment option. Health Canada has approved ZELDOX (ziprasidone hydrochloride), marketed under the brand name "Geodon" in the US for a number of years. The medication is now available in Canada for the treatment of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders.

"ZELDOX is a welcome new treatment option because it controls the symptoms of schizophrenia and appears to cause less weight gain than other antipsychotic medications. Weight gain can increase the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. These side effects are often distressing and stigmatizing and are a major reason that patients go off their medication," said Dr. Ashok Malla, Director of the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal, Quebec. "ZELDOX has demonstrated an excellent safety and efficacy profile as demonstrated through over a decade of research and patient experience."


Discovered and developed by Pfizer, ZELDOX(TM) is a serotonin and dopamine antagonist which treats the symptoms characterized as both positive (e.g. visual and auditory hallucinations) and negative (lack of motivation and social withdrawal) as well as the overall psychopathology of the disease.

The efficacy of ZELDOX(TM) in the treatment of schizophrenia was established in the largest ever clinical trials program conducted for a novel antipsychotic medication prior to launch. The program involved four short-term and one long-term placebo-controlled clinical trials of psychotic inpatients who met the DSM-III-R criteria for schizophrenia.

As with many other atypical antipsychotics, the exact mechanism of action of ZELDOX is unknown. However, it has been proposed that the efficacy of this drug in schizophrenia is mediated through a combination of dopamine type 2 (D2) and serotonin type 2 (5HT2) antagonism. ZELDOX is the only atypical antipsychotic with data showing long-term improvement in metabolic parameters including weight, cholesterol and triglycerides. The most common side effects of ZELDOX include fatigue, nausea or upset stomach, constipation, dizziness, restlessness, abnormal movements, diarrhea, rash or increased cough/runny nose. One potential side effect of ZELDOX is that it may induce an abnormal heart rhythm, a risk that can be increased in patients who already have certain abnormal heart conditions or in those who are taking certain medications. ZELDOX is not recommended in patients who have Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), those who have had a recent heart attack, severe heart failure or certain irregularities of heart rhythm.

More information: Detailed Consumer information for Zeldox (pdf)


Not many people know about the problem of weight gain when taking antipsychotic drugs. It's a real problem. And there is so much out there now about the dangers of being overweight let alone the importance of looking good and fitness. That's why any new drug that can cause less weight gain while still controlling the symptoms is awfully good news.

Posted by: Judi at February 8, 2008 02:32 PM

I would be interested to know if Zeldox has
absolutely NO metabolic issue or is it with
low metabolic issue?
Aripiprazole claims not to cause weight gain
but it does cause weight gain, just a bit less
than some other APs.

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