Latuda (Generic Lurasidone) Drug Information

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Latuda (lurasidone) is one of the newer generation of antipsychotic medications that are called atypical. Latuda was first approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in 2010. The Food and Drug Administration then approved its use to help in the treatment of bipolar depression in the summer of 2013. 

Common Antipsychotic Warnings

Like all antipsychotic drugs, Latuda carries a boxed warning saying it is not approved for use in elderly patients with dementia due to increased risk of death.

There is the potential for developing neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) when taking all antipsychotics, including Latuda. Symptoms can include abnormally high fever, rigid muscles, profuse sweating, irregular heartbeat, and other symptoms. Kidney failure can result. Although rare, this is an extremely serious and potentially fatal condition, so it is important to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment at once.

Although tardive dyskinesia (TD) is rarer among patients taking the atypical antipsychotics compared to the older typical agents, TD may still rarely develop in patients taking Latuda. The most common presentation of tardive dyskinesia is forms of uncontrolled facial movements. Again, know the symptoms of this condition and contact your doctor at once if they appear.

There are additional warnings common to all antipsychotics about less serious possible side effects. Read all the literature accompanying your prescription carefully.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning on all antipsychotic drugs, including Latuda, due to the increased risk of death in older adults (those 65 and older) when used to treat symptoms of dementia.

Weight Issues, Blood Sugar and Fats, and Diabetes

All antipsychotic medications also carry warnings about the possibility of weight gain, increased blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides, with the potential to lead to diabetes. However, the clinical trials and studies so far have indicated that Latuda's effect on weight is more complex. One study found that some patients gained weight while others lost weight. Overall, it is currently considered not to be associated with weight gain.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects in clinical trials were:

  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Akathisia, characterized by inner restlessness and the inability to sit or stand still, and
  • Parkinsonism, with symptoms including tremor, difficulty walking, stiff muscles and others.

The latter two are movement disorders that can be serious and/or extremely distressing, so again, knowing the symptoms is recommended.

Dystonia, another movement disorder, was less frequent but still significantly higher in patients taking Latuda than in those who took a placebo. Dystonia is characterized by muscles contracting parts of the body abnormally.

Dystonia, parkinsonism, and akathisia are extrapyramidal side effects.

Use in Pregnancy

There have been no adequate or well-controlled studies of Latuda during pregnancy. At this time, the recommendation is that the drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. If you become pregnant while taking Latuda, make sure to discuss this with your physician.

1 Source
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  1. Schneider LS, Dagerman KS, Insel P. Risk of death with atypical antipsychotic drug treatment for dementia: meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. JAMA. 2005;294(15):1934-1943. doi:10.1001/jama.294.15.1934

Additional Reading

By Marcia Purse
Marcia Purse is a mental health writer and bipolar disorder advocate who brings strong research skills and personal experiences to her writing.