Drugs Q & A

Does Latuda Help With Anxiety?

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. The cause of anxiety is unknown. Factors such as genetics, brain biology and chemistry, stress, and your environment may play a role.

Anxiety might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal reaction to stress. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. It can help you to cope. The anxiety may give you a boost of energy or help you focus. But for people with anxiety disorders, the fear is not temporary and can be overwhelming.

What are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders are conditions in which you have anxiety that does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.

What are the types of anxiety disorders?

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People with GAD worry about ordinary issues such as health, money, work, and family. But their worries are excessive, and they have them almost every day for at least 6 months.

Panic disorder. People with panic disorder have panic attacks. These are sudden, repeated periods of intense fear when there is no danger. The attacks come on quickly and can last several minutes or more.

Phobias. People with phobias have an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Their fear may be about spiders, flying, going to crowded places, or being in social situations (known as social anxiety).

What Is Latuda?

Latuda is a brand of Lurasidone an atypical antipsychotic medication that rebalances dopamine and serotonin to improve thinking, mood, and behavior.

Latuda is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions) in adults and children 13 years of age and older. It is also used to treat depression in adults and children 10 years of age and older with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods) Lurasidone is also used along with lithium (Lithobid) or valproate (Depacon) to treat depression in adults with bipolar disorder.

Lurasidone (Latuda) may also be helpful when prescribed “off-label” for other mental health conditions. “Off-label” means that it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this condition.

Your mental health provider should justify his or her thinking in recommending an “off-label” treatment. They should be clear about the limits of the research around that medication and if there are any other options.

How is Latuda taken?

Take Latuda exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Latuda should be taken with food (at least 350 calories).

You may need frequent blood tests.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using Latuda.

You should not stop using this medicine suddenly. Stopping suddenly may cause other problems.

It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking Latuda. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. You may also be more sensitive to temperature extremes (hot or cold).

How Long Does It Take For Latuda To Work?

It is very important to tell your doctor how you feel things are going during the first few weeks after you start taking Latuda. It will probably take several weeks to see big enough changes in your symptoms to decide if Latuda is the right medication for you.

Antipsychotic treatment is generally needed lifelong for persons with schizophrenia. Your doctor can best discuss the duration of treatment you need based on your symptoms and illness.

•        Hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and delusions may improve in the first 1-2 weeks

•        Sometimes these symptoms do not completely go away

•        Motivation and desire to be around other people can take at least 1-2 weeks to improve

•        Symptoms continue to get better the longer you take Latuda

•        It may take 2-3 months before you get the full benefit of Latuda

Does Latuda help with anxiety?

There is no straightforward answer to this question, Latuda is not FDA approved to help relieve anxiety symptoms because it is a medication formulated to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and depressive episodes related to bipolar 1 disorder a condition defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks.

However, Latuda may be used off-label for the treatment or management of anxiety. One study showed that Latuda was effective for easing symptoms of anxiety but more research is needed to determine Latuda’s role in treating anxiety.

Frequently Asked Question About Latuda

Can a pregnant woman take Latuda?

If you are planning on becoming pregnant, notify your healthcare provider to best manage your medications. People living with schizophrenia who wish to become pregnant face important decisions. This is a complex decision since untreated schizophrenia has risks to the fetus, as well as the mother. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor and caregivers.

Antipsychotic use during the third trimester of pregnancy has a risk for abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal symptoms [EPS]) and/or withdrawal symptoms in newborns following delivery. Symptoms in the newborn may include agitation, feeding disorder, hypertonia, hypotonia, respiratory distress, somnolence, and tremor; these effects may be self-limiting or require hospitalization.

Can a breastfeeding woman take Latuda?

No, breastfeeding while taking Latuda is not recommended. Animal studies suggest the drug may be passed through breast milk to the infant.

Will I have withdrawal symptoms if I stop taking Latuda?

No, you won’t have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Latuda. But, newborns who had exposure to an antipsychotic during the last trimester of pregnancy may have withdrawal symptoms after birth. (And keep in mind that Latuda is an antipsychotic.)

Will I need to use Latuda long-term?

 It depends on what you’re using Latuda to treat. For schizophrenia, you’ll likely use the drug long-term if Latuda works to manage your symptoms. For depressive episodes related to bipolar disorder, you may use the drug either short-term or long-term. Your doctor can discuss with you how long you should take Latuda.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Latuda?

Latuda may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

•        anxiety

•        appetite changes

•        breast enlargement or discharge

•        decreased sexual ability

•        dizziness, feeling unsteady, or having trouble keeping your balance

•        increased saliva

•        late or missed menstrual period

•        nausea

•        restlessness

•        slow movements or shuffling walk

•        tiredness

•        uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body

•        vomiting

•        weakness

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

•        abnormal heartbeat

•        difficulty swallowing or breathing

•        falling

•        fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness

•        hoarseness

•        seizures

•        shortness of breath

•        sore throat, fever, cough, chills, and other signs of infection

•        swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

•        unusual movements of your face or body that you cannot control

Latuda may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

What does Latuda do for bipolar disorder?

Latuda helps rebalance and adjust the serotonin and dopamine chemicals in your brain. By adjusting the levels of these natural chemicals in your brain, it can help stabilize your mood, depression, and behavior.

Does Latuda cause hair loss?

No, Latuda does not cause hair loss. But if you think that Latuda is affecting your hair, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

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