What is Latuda?
Latuda is a prescription medication used to treat schizophrenia and depressive episodes caused by bipolar 1 disorder.
Has your doctor prescribed Latuda medication to you? If so, you may want to know more about what Latuda is and how it works. This guide will provide you with the essential information. Here we’ll explain what Latuda is used for, how the medication works, any potential side effects, and more. We’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Latuda.
What is Latuda used for?
Latuda is prescribed to treat:
- Depressive episodes in adults and children 10 years and older with bipolar 1 disorder
- Depressive episodes in adults with bipolar 1 disorder in combination with mood stabilizer medications like lithium or valproate
- Schizophrenia in adults and children 13 years and older
Latuda may also be used off-label in some cases to treat other conditions. See Off label uses of Latuda below for more information on these Latuda uses.
What does Latuda do?
Latuda alters how natural chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters affect your brain function. This is thought to help to normalize brain activity, improving mood, and lessening the symptoms of schizophrenia and depressive episodes caused by bipolar disorder.
Is Latuda a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic?
Latuda belongs to a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. These are drugs that are typically used to manage psychosis (periods where someone finds it difficult to understand what is real and what isn’t) and bipolar disorder.
As Latuda’s drug class is an antipsychotic, it’s not a mood stabilizer. Latuda may be used alongside mood stabilizers in adults who have bipolar 1 disorder.
Is Latuda an antidepressant?
Although Latuda can be used to treat depressive episodes caused by bipolar 1 disorder, Latuda is not an antidepressant. It’s an atypical antipsychotic.
Latuda for bipolar depression
Bipolar disorder, previously called manic depression, is a mental health disorder that causes you to have both periods of depression and periods of heightened mood.
The periods of heightened mood can fill you with energy and make you feel euphoric, but they can also make you behave impulsively and with poor judgment. These periods of heightened mood are called hypomania. They can also be called mania if they’re severe and you also experience psychosis (problems understanding what’s real and what’s not).
The periods of depression, sometimes called bipolar depression, can make you feel sad, hopeless, or numb. They can make you isolate yourself, stop you from taking pleasure in the activities you usually enjoy, and can put you at greater risk of self-harm and suicide.
These episodes of depression and heightened mood happen rarely in some people, but in others, they can happen multiple times a year. They commonly last for one to two weeks but can last longer. Some people feel no symptoms between episodes, but some people feel symptoms of mild depression or mild heightened mood.
If you have depressive episodes caused by bipolar disorder, your doctor may prescribe Latuda to you to help you manage your condition. Latuda can reduce the activity of certain natural chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters, which can affect your mood, and your thoughts and feelings. This has been shown to lessen the symptoms of depressive episodes; it can help keep your depressive episodes at bay and limit the severity of them when they happen.
Latuda can be used alone to treat bipolar depression, but can also be used alongside mood-stabilizing medications, like lithium or valproate, in adults. Latuda, and other medications, are usually one part of a more holistic treatment program that often also includes counseling.
Latuda for schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes you to have periods of psychosis – times when you find it difficult to understand what’s real and what isn’t.
During periods of psychosis, you may experience hallucinations, including aural hallucinations where you hear sounds and voices. You may have delusions, beliefs and ideas that aren’t real, and you may have generally confused thinking. You may experience other symptoms too, like a loss of motivation, social isolation, a lack of emotion, suspicion and paranoia, and disorganized speech and behavior.
Your doctor may prescribe you Latuda if you have schizophrenia. This form of treatment has been shown to make episodes of psychosis less common and less severe.
Latuda is usually used as one part of a holistic treatment plan for schizophrenia that may also include counseling, job training, social rehabilitation, and sometimes hospitalization.
Off-label uses for Latuda
Sometimes medicines are used to treat conditions that they’ve not been approved to treat – this is called an off-label use. Latuda is approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia and bipolar 1 depressive episodes, but it is also used off-label to treat:
Latuda for bipolar 2 disorder:
Latuda is approved to treat the bipolar 1 version of bipolar disorder, but it also is used off-label to treat bipolar 2 disorder. In bipolar disorder 2, hypomanic/manic episodes tend to be less severe than in bipolar 1.
Latuda for depression:
Latuda can be used off-label to treat depression. This is most likely with forms of depression that show similarities to bipolar disorder, such as depression that includes periods of hypomania (but hypomania not intense enough for the condition to be diagnosed as bipolar disorder).
Latuda for anxiety disorder:
Limited research has suggested that Latuda may be effective at relieving symptoms of anxiety disorder. However, the FDA hasn’t approved Latuda to treat anxiety disorder and more research is needed to verify how effective it is for anxiety.
Latuda for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):
OCD is a mental disorder in which people can feel compelled to perform certain routines over and over and may have certain thoughts that repeat frequently. Latuda has been used off-label to treat OCD when other medications haven’t proved effective enough.
Latuda for sleep:
Research has shown that Latuda may help increase the amount of time people sleep and may help people who have problems falling and staying asleep. However, the FDA hasn’t approved Latuda to treat sleep problems and more research is needed on this potential use for Latuda before it can be prescribed in this way.
How does Latuda work?
Latuda contains an active ingredient called lurasidone, a type of atypical antipsychotic drug.
When you swallow a Latuda tablet, it breaks down in your digestive tract and the lurasidone it contains is absorbed into your blood. The lurasidone is then transported to your brain in your bloodstream.
Once the lurasidone crosses the blood-brain barrier, it attaches to areas on your brain cells called receptors. These receptors are used to send messages between your brain cells and help to regulate your brain function. Chemicals produced by your brain, called neurotransmitters, fit into the receptors, stimulating them and making them send a certain form of signal to the surrounding brain cells. But by blocking some of your receptors, lurasidone reduces some areas of brain activity.
Lurasidone blocks receptors that are stimulated by the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters help regulate areas of brain activity involved with mood, reward feedback, pleasure, cognition, learning, and memory. By reducing the signals sent by dopamine and serotonin, it’s thought that lurasidone helps to normalize brain activity. And this has been shown to lessen the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar depression.
How quickly does Latuda work?
Latuda affects people differently, and the time it takes to work will vary by person. Typically, Latuda takes around 1 to 2 weeks to start working.
Latuda and other drugs
Latuda is usually used alone to treat schizophrenia. This is also the case for bipolar depression in children 10 to 17 years old.
But when used to treat bipolar depression in adults, Latuda can be used alongside a type of medication called a mood stabilizer. Mood stabilizers are used to limit the frequency and severity of extreme mood changes and are often prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder to treat manic or hypomanic episodes.
Mood stabilizers that can be used alongside Latuda include Lithobid (lithium) and Depakene (valproate).
Alternatives to Latuda
Latuda is one medication that can be used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar depression, but there are alternatives to Latuda, including medications that belong to other drug classes.
Treating mental health disorders can be a lifelong process and you may have to spend time trying a range of medications to find out which ones work best for you. This should always be done under the direction and supervision of your doctor.
Alternatives medications for bipolar disorder include:
Antipsychotic medicines to treat bipolar disorder:
Mood stabilizer medicines to treat bipolar disorder:
Antipsychotic medicines to treat schizophrenia:
- Abilify (aripiprazole)
- Risperdal (risperidone)
- Zyprexa (olanzapine)
- Seroquel (quetiapine)
- Clozaril (clozapine)
- Geodon (ziprasidone)
- Vraylar (cariprazine)
- Invega (paliperidone)
- Rexulti (brexpiprazole)
Antidepressant medicines to treat schizophrenia:
- Citalopram (citalopram)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Aropax (paroxetine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
How much does Latuda cost?
Prices for Latuda, if you don’t have insurance, will vary depending on the strength you buy (20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, or 120 mg) and the number of tablets per pack (30 or 100 tablets). Prices will also vary by retailer. As a guide, a pack of 30, 40 mg Latuda tablets will cost around $1,600.
If you have insurance, the cost of Latuda will vary depending on your healthcare plan. To find out what you may need to pay, contact your insurance provider or pharmacist – they will be able to calculate your copay with your current insurance.
Latuda side effects
The most common Latuda side effects include:
- Sleepiness or drowsiness
- A runny nose
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Being sick (vomiting)
- Restlessness and feeling like you need to move (akathisia)
- Muscle stiffness that can slow your movements and make it difficult to move
- Problems sleeping (insomnia)
- Weight gain
For some people, Latuda can cause more serious side effects. These are rarer, but can include:
- An increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide, particularly in young adults
- An increased risk of strokes and death in elderly patients who have dementia-related psychosis (Latuda is not approved to treat dementia-related psychosis)
- Severe allergic reactions to the medication
- Worsened episodes of mania or hypomania (manic episodes) in people with bipolar disorder
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) – a rare but potentially fatal condition caused by a reaction to the medication
- Uncontrolled body movements (tardive dyskinesia), often in your face and tongue (these movements may not go away after you stop taking Latuda)
- High blood sugar
- High blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides)
- Increased levels of a protein called prolactin in your blood (hyperprolactinemia)
- A fall in white blood cell counts
- A fall in blood pressure
- Seizures (convulsions)
- Problems with swallowing, that can cause food or liquid to get into your lungs
- Problems controlling your body temperature that can lead to you overheating and getting dehydrated
- An increased risk of falls as Latuda can cause dizziness and sleepiness
Your doctor will assess your risk of side effects versus the benefits of taking Latuda. These aren’t all the side effects that Latuda can cause. To find out more, you can read more about Latuda side effects in the leaflet that comes with your medication. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about any side effects.
If you stop taking Latuda suddenly, you can experience a withdrawal from the medication, called Latuda discontinuation syndrome. This can cause unpleasant withdrawal-like side effects, including nausea, restlessness, and uncontrolled muscle movements. In some cases, Latuda withdrawal can be severe.
Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking Latuda. They may decrease your dose slowly to avoid Latuda discontinuation syndrome.
How to take Latuda?
Always take Latuda exactly as directed by the doctor who prescribed it to you. Never change the dose you take yourself and don’t stop taking Latuda without talking to your doctor first.
Latuda comes as a tablet you swallow. It’s recommended to take Latuda with food (at least 350 calories worth). The tablet should be swallowed whole and not crushed or cut. How much Latuda you take and how often will be decided upon by the doctor who prescribes it to you.
Latuda capsules come in five strengths, 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, and 120 mg. You typically take one Latuda tablet per day of a strength that matches your dose.
The doctor who prescribes Latuda to you will tell you what dose to take, but the following are typical starting and recommended doses:
|Adults with schizophrenia
||40 mg per day
||40 mg to 160 mg per day
|Children 13 to 17 with schizophrenia
||40 mg per day
||40 mg to 80 mg per day
|Adults with bipolar depression
||20 mg per day
||20 mg to 120 mg per day
|Children 10 to 17 with bipolar depression
||20 mg per day
||20 mg to 80 mg per day
Please note, these are generally recommended doses, but your doctor may tell you to take a different dose. Always take your Latuda as directed by the doctor who prescribed it to you.
What if I miss a Latuda dose?
If you miss a Latuda dose, don’t take a double dose to make up for the forgotten dose, as you risk taking too much Latuda (a Latuda overdose). Wait until you’re due to take your next dose.
Contact your doctor if you miss two or more doses.
If you take too much Latuda you can overdose on the medication, increasing your risk of side effects, including serious side effects (see Latuda side effects below).
Symptoms of a Latuda overdose can include:
- Low blood pressure
- Drowsiness and decreased alertness
- Arrhythmia (an irregular heart rhythm)
- low blood pressure
If you’ve taken too much Latuda, you should seek emergency medical attention.
What should I avoid while taking Latuda?
You should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice when taking Latuda, as this may increase the amount of Latuda in your blood, making side effects more likely.
Make sure you don’t become too hot or dehydrated when taking Latuda. It may help if you:
- Stay in a cool location in hot weather
- Stay out of strong sun
- Don’t exercise too much
- Drink plenty of water
Latuda can cause side effects, like drowsiness, dizziness, and sleepiness, that can impair your ability to drive, operate machinery, or perform other dangerous tasks. Avoid these activities whilst taking Latuda until you’re sure it doesn’t give you any side effects that can make performing them more dangerous.
There are also certain medications you should avoid when taking Latuda, as they can interact with it.
Latuda should not be taken with medicines called CYP3A4 inhibitors or CYP3A4 inducers, including:
- Itraconazole, ketoconazole, or voriconazole, taken to treat fungal infections
- Clarithromycin or rifampin, antibiotics are taken to treat a range of bacterial infections
- Ritonavir, taken to treat an HIV-1 infection
- Avasimibe, taken to treat high cholesterol
- Carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and rufinamide, taken for seizures
- An herbal supplement called St John’s wort
Talk to your doctor if you take the following medicines with Latuda:
- Any other medications you’re taking to treat your bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
- Any other medications that can affect your serotonin or dopamine levels
- Any antibiotics
- Any medicines that lower your blood pressure
- Any other medicines to treat an HIV infection
- Boceprevir or telaprevir, taken for chronic hepatitis
- Medicines containing ergot alkaloid derivatives (used for treating migraines)
- Aprepitant, taken to treat nausea and vomiting
- Prednisone, taken to treat a range of inflammatory diseases
Latuda and alcohol
Latuda isn’t known to interact with alcohol. However, alcohol can have some similar effects to some Latuda side effects, like making you feel drowsy or dizzy. And alcohol may make these side effects worse if you experience them.
Talk to your doctor about alcohol and Latuda if you regularly drink alcohol or binge drink alcohol.
Drugs like Latuda that can affect neurotransmitters and brain function can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide. This is more likely in children and young adults, particularly during the first few months of treatment. Children and young adults taking Latuda should be monitored for signs of sudden changes in behavior, mood, thoughts, or feelings. If you take Latuda, tell your friends and family members about this risk. Seek urgent medical attention if you, or someone you care for, feels they are at risk of suicide.
If you stop taking Latuda suddenly, it can cause a condition called Latuda discontinuation syndrome. This can cause withdrawal-like side effects, some of which can be serious. Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking Latuda.
Latuda isn’t suitable for everyone. It should not be taken by children under 13 to treat schizophrenia, and children under 10 to treat bipolar disorder. Don’t take Latuda if you:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient lurasidone
- Are allergic to any of the other ingredients found in Latuda
- Take a CYP3A4 inhibitor or CYP3A4 inducer medication (see Latuda interactions above)
- Are under 18 years of age to treat bipolar depression if you’re also taking a mood stabilizer medication, like lithium or valproate
Talk to your doctor before taking Latuda if you:
- Are taking any of the other medications that could interact with Latuda (see Latuda interactions above)
- Have or have ever had any heart problems
- Have or have ever had a stroke
- Have or have ever had kidney problems
- Have or have ever had liver problems
- Have or have ever had high or low blood pressure
- Have or have ever had diabetes, or have a family history of diabetes
- Have or have ever had high levels of cholesterol or blood fats called triglycerides
- Have or have ever had high prolactin levels
- Have or have ever had a low white blood cell count
- Have or have ever had seizures
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
- Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
Can Latuda affect pregnancy?
It’s not known if Latuda can affect your unborn child. There are no studies of the effects of Latuda on pregnancy. However, babies born to women who took an antipsychotic medication when pregnant have displayed movement disorders and withdrawal-like symptoms. Talk to your doctor about taking Latuda if you are pregnant or want to become pregnant.
It’s not known if the active ingredient in Latuda, called lurasidone, can pass into human breast milk. However, this was found to happen in animal studies on rats, so there is a possibility Latuda could pass into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about taking Latuda if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Or if you express milk in another way, such as with a breast pump.
Latuda expiration and storage
Store your Latuda in a dry location at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Keep it in the original packaging or a pill organizer. Keep your Latuda out of sight and reach of children.
Don’t use your Latuda after the expiry date on the packaging. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
What can you not take with Latuda?
A class of drugs called CYP3A4 inhibitors or CYP3A4 inducers should not be taken with Latuda as they can interact with your medication and make side effects more likely. These medications include a range of antibiotics, antifungal medications, and an herbal supplement called St John’s Wort. You should also avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice, as this can also interact with Latuda.
Is weight gain a side effect of Latuda?
Latuda can cause weight gain in some people. This side effect doesn’t affect all people however and most people who take Latuda don’t gain weight. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about Latuda and weight gain.
Does Latuda make you happy?
Latuda is not known to make you feel happy directly. It’s an antipsychotic medication that can ease the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar depression. You may feel happy though if Latuda helps you with your condition.
Who should not take Latuda?
Latuda isn’t suitable for everyone. You shouldn’t take the medication if you’re allergic to the active ingredient lurasidone or any other ingredient in Latuda, if you’re taking any medications that can interact with Latuda, or if you’re too young to take it (under 13 for schizophrenia and under 10 for bipolar depression). Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about taking Latuda.
Can you drink coffee on Latuda?
Coffee and Latuda aren’t known to interact, so there’s no reason why you can’t drink coffee when taking the medication. However, you should talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about drinking coffee and taking Latuda.
Which is better Abilify or Latuda?
Abilify is an alternative atypical antipsychotic that can be used to treat schizophrenia in adults and children 13 years and older. Abilify and Latuda haven’t been compared directly in clinical studies, but both have been found to be effective treatments for schizophrenia. People react differently to medications, and you won’t know which will work better for you until you try them. Your doctor may start you on one, then switch you to an alternative medication if the first isn’t successful for you.