|Type of medicine||Antipsychotic|
|Used for||Easing the symptoms of schizophrenia and other similar mental health problems|
Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that causes disordered ideas, beliefs and experiences. Paliperidone is used to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia. Such symptoms include hearing, seeing, or sensing things that are not real, having mistaken beliefs, and feeling unusually suspicious.
Paliperidone works by correcting the imbalance of chemical substances which act on the nervous system in your brain.
Paliperidone is also available as a long-acting or 'depot' injection. This injection is given every four weeks and slowly releases paliperidone so that you do not have to remember to take tablets every day. There is another medicine leaflet called 'Paliperidone long-acting injection' which gives more information about this.
Before taking paliperidone
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking paliperidone, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have a heart condition or blood vessel disease.
- If you have liver, kidney, or prostate problems.
- If you have breathing problems.
- If you have any difficulties swallowing, or a disorder which could cause a blockage in your intestines.
- If you have any of the following: diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, depression, glaucoma, or myasthenia gravis (this is a condition causing muscle weakness).
- If you have a condition called phaeochromocytoma (a tumour on your adrenal gland).
- If you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes), or a blood disorder.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take paliperidone
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about paliperidone, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take paliperidone exactly as your doctor has told you. Your dose will also be on the label of your pack to remind you.
- Take a tablet once each day with your breakfast. If you do not eat breakfast, you should still take paliperidone first thing each morning. It is, however, important that you take each of your doses in the same way each day. Do not change between taking the tablets with breakfast one day, and without breakfast another.
- If you forget to take a dose, skip this missed dose and take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
- Swallow these tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not chew, crush or break the tablets because they are made so that they release the medicine they contain slowly during the day. Also, do not worry if you notice something that looks like a tablet in your stools - this is just the coating of the tablet being passed out of your system.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Paliperidone tablets come in different strengths and colours. If your dose is changed, your tablets may look different. If you are unsure about your tablets at any time, ask your pharmacist for advice.
- Your treatment will require careful monitoring to make sure that you get the best possible benefit from paliperidone. Keep your regular doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked. You will need to have some tests from time to time.
- Treatment with paliperidone is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Keep taking these tablets until your doctor tells you otherwise. Stopping suddenly can cause problems and your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.
- Paliperidone may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA light and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, especially in strong sunlight or until you know how your skin reacts. Do not use sunbeds.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about drinking while you are on paliperidone. Alcohol will increase the chance that you experience side-effects and may not be recommended for you.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as paliperidone may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.
- If you are having any dental treatment or an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking. This is important because paliperidone may interfere with any anaesthetic you receive.
- If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with paliperidone.
Can paliperidone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common paliperidone side-effects - these affect around 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Headache, aches and pains||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Feeling dizzy or light-headed when you stand up||This can happen particularly when you first start taking paliperidone. Getting up more slowly until you are aware how you react should help|
|Feeling sleepy or tired, blurred vision||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Constipation||Eat a well-balanced diet containing plenty of fruit, vegetables and fibre. Drink several glasses of water each day|
|Indigestion, feeling or being sick||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Increased number of infections such as coughs and colds, feeling shaky, increased appetite and weight, unusual or uncontrollable movements, feeling restless, a fast heartbeat||Speak with your doctor about any of these. Your treatment may need adjusting|
Important: if you experience any 'flu-like' symptoms including muscle stiffness, with a high temperature, confusion, a fast heartbeat, and sweating, contact your doctor immediately. These may be signs of a rare but serious condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store paliperidone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Invega® 1.5 mg, 3 mg, 6 mg, 9 mg, 12 mg prolonged-release tablets,; Manufacturer's PIL, Invega® 1.5 mg, 3 mg, 6 mg, 9 mg, 12 mg prolonged-release tablets, Janssen-Cilag Ltd, The electronic medicines Compendium. Dated May 2012.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Adrian Bonsall|
|Last Checked: 19/07/2012||Document ID: 13921 Version: 1||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.