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A 47-year-old member asked:

Is clozapine (clozaril) good for bipolar?

7 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marc Zimmermann
Psychiatry 22 years experience
Sometimes.: Clozapine works well for some, but not so well for others. It is a medication to be considered, but you should talk to your doctor about the various possibilites and why he/she might suggest one over the other.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Clozaril (clozapine): Is an atypical antipsychotic approved for use in treatment-resistant schizophrenia & is also used off-label to treat bipolar disorders. It is very effective as long as close monitoring of white blood cell count is done routinely. Some reported side-effects are seizures, myocarditis, agranulocytosis, diabetes, weight gain. It is not indicated if seizures, liver disease or low blood count.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Clozapine: Not first line. Clozapine (brand names: Versacloz, FazaClo, Clozaril) is an antipsychotic medication used as a treatment for refractory Schizophrenia & for Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder associated with recurrent suicidal behavior. It has been used off-label for refractory bipolar disorder
Dr. Judith Tellerman
Clinical Psychology 42 years experience
MEDICATION: It's important to find the correct combination of medications with your Psychiatrist. Medications aren't sufficient since they don't teach you coping mechanisms. Psychotherapy with a Clinical Psychologist can help you find ways to handle stress that will help medications work better. It is appropriate to obtain a second opinion from a Psychiatrist with concerns about meds worsening your condition.
Dr. Chris Esguerra
Psychiatry 16 years experience
Yes, however: Clozaril/clozapine is an effective antipsychotic medication with many cautions requiring regular blood tests. It can be effective for severe or difficult to treat bipolar disorder. Given the potential side effects and requirement of blood tests, many doctors try other, safer medications or combinations first.
Dr. Panagiota Korenis
Psychiatry 13 years experience
Possibly: Clozapine is a medication used to treat treatment resistant psychotic symptoms. People who have bipolar disorder may also experience psychotic symptoms. If these psychotic symptoms are so refractory - meaning they don't respond to treatment with first line psychotropics then clozapine may be considered. First line medications for bipolar disorder include: mood stabilizers and antipsychotics.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Clozaril: Not as a first line medication. Clozapine (brand names: Versacloz, FazaClo, Clozaril) is an antipsychotic medication used as a treatment for refractory Schizophrenia & for Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder associated with recurrent suicidal behavior. It has been used off-label for refractory bipolar disorder.

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Last updated Jan 10, 2021

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