Uses, Side Effects, and Dosage
Latuda is a drug that doctors can prescribe for bipolar disorder. Can it help with bipolar disorder depression?
Bipolar disorder can involve mood swings between mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed mood states. By definition, a depressive episode lasts at least 2 weeks. Symptoms can be intense and include feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.
Therapy, education, and other forms of support can help you manage bipolar disorder. That said, medications are often the first line treatment for this condition.
Latuda, the brand name for lurasidone, is an atypical antipsychotic that doctors can prescribe to treat bipolar depression. You may want to consider discussing its risks and benefits with your doctor.
Latuda works by changing chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. It’s not a mood stabilizer, but an atypical antipsychotic.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) originally approved lurasidone to treat schizophrenia. In
Latuda is an atypical antipsychotic drug available only by prescription. It is not an antidepressant, but it works to alleviate the depressive phase of bipolar disorder.
Doctors may prescribe Latuda for:
- adults and children over 10 years of age as first-line treatment for bipolar depression
- children 13 years or older with schizophrenia
- adults already taking mood stabilizers, such as lithium or valproate, to treat both depression and manic episodes of bipolar disorder
How to take Latuda
Your doctor will tell you how to take Latuda, but usually you will take the tablet once a day. They can recommend a short-term or long-term treatment plan.
Latuda comes in different doses, including:
- 20 milligrams (mg)
Most doctors will prescribe the lowest dose for you.
Other General Considerations
Other considerations to keep in mind about Latuda:
- Only take Latuda with meals.
- Take Latuda only as prescribed.
- Always talk to your doctor before stopping the medicine.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor if it is safe to continue taking this medication.
Latuda can help with bipolar depression and other mental health issues.
Latuda is also an effective treatment for schizophrenia in people over the age of 13.
It can help with symptoms such as:
- unclear thought
- low battery
Sometimes doctors prescribe Latuda for off-label uses not approved by the FDA, including:
While doctors sometimes prescribe Latuda for dementia-related psychosis, the FDA warns that antipsychotics can cause death in older people with dementia.
Further research will help determine if using Latuda for these conditions is safe and effective.
When you start taking Latuda, you may experience temporary side effects. These can last for several weeks.
Potential minor side effects include:
- brain fog
- decreased coordination
- stiff muscles
- nasal congestion
- nausea or vomiting
More serious side effects include:
- lack of menstruation in women
- erectile dysfunction in men
- changes in blood pressure, breathing, or heart rate
- changes in metabolism
- high blood sugar
- allergic reactions
- difficulty maintaining body temperature
- uncontrollable muscle movements
- suicidal thoughts
Tell your doctor if you experience these side effects.
People often worry about weight gain when taking this type of medication.
A 2017 study of the long-term effects of lurasidone treatment in patients with bipolar I depression found that taking the drug did not cause weight gain or negatively affect metabolism.
Most people experience few to no side effects when taking Latuda. However, it is important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- dark urine
- frequent or infrequent urination
- heart rhythm changes
- feeling cold, overheated, or dehydrated
- a drop in blood pressure
It is important to share any history of liver disease, heart disease, or high cholesterol with your doctor before starting Latuda.
Make sure your doctor knows what other medicines you are taking. Taking Latuda with certain medications can cause serious drug interactions.
In case of accidental overdose or if you have suicidal thoughts, call 911 for emergency assistance.
Although Latuda is FDA-approved for children over 10, the drug comes with a boxed warning explaining that children, teens, and young adults may be at risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. when taking this medicine.
Older people with dementia-related psychosis may also have a higher risk of suicidal thoughts when taking Latuda.
Latuda is not for everyone. And your doctor may recommend other treatment options for bipolar depression.
Lithium, a mood stabilizer, is a common treatment for bipolar disorder.
Other mood stabilizers include anti-epileptic drugs such as:
- valproic acid (Depakene)
- lamotrigine (Lamictal)
- divalproex sodium (Depakote)
Your doctor can discuss common side effects of antiseizure treatment with you.
Other atypical antipsychotics like Latuda include:
Additionally, in December 2021, the FDA approved CAPYLTA to treat bipolar I or II disorder in adults.
Family Centered Therapy (FFT)
Family-centered therapy can help manage symptoms of bipolar depression in children and adults.
Generally, the FFT lasts about 9 months. It can help:
- educate family members about the mood disorder
- identify and resolve issues related to mood swings
- reduce depression and suicidal thoughts in family members with bipolar disorder
- improve communication about relapse and recovery plans
Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT)
IPSRT treatment can help people:
- understand their own pharmaceutical treatments
- better manage your sleep
- learn techniques to track and improve emotional self-regulation
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
This form of talk therapy can help people with bipolar disorder:
- self-regulate during manic episodes
- understand and recover from manic and depressive episodes
- get rid of symptoms
Bipolar disorder doesn’t need to define you. And treatments are available. Medications like Lapuda and psychosocial interventions can relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder.
You can also talk to your doctor about alternative therapies you can try in addition to traditional treatment options.
Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about the potential side effects of drug treatments, such as Latuda. Being told what to expect can help you adjust to treatment.
If you’re looking for more resources on coping with bipolar disorder, consider checking out these resources: