Latuda (lurasidone)

Latuda (lurasidone)
Brand name: Latuda®
Active ingredient name: Lurasidone
Type of drug: Atypical antipsychotic
Available in Canada from: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Form: Oral tablets 
Generic: No
Listed on Ontario formulary: Yes 
(with suggested criteria for coverage*)
*This product has a therapeutic note, which suggests a physician should prescribe it for the treatment of schizophrenia in individuals who have not responded to or have not tolerated another less expensive antipsychotic medication.
What this means is that for most individuals with schizophrenia Latuda will not be a first line medication choice.  Each physician will assess the use of this medication on a case by case basis.  If this medication is deemed appropriate for you it will be covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit program.

What is Latuda used for?
Latuda is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia in adults. It can be used alone or in combination with other therapies for schizophrenia. Latuda is sometimes used to treat other conditions, such as bipolar disorder. Talk to your doctor to understand why you are taking Latuda.
How should I take Latuda?
Latuda should be taken with food to increase the absorption of the medication into the bloodstream. 
How much Latuda should I take?
Latuda is available in 40, 80 and 120 mg tablets in Canada. 
Adults: The dose range for Latuda is 40-160 mg daily. The usual dose for most adults is 40 to 80 mg once per day. Your doctor may prescribe doses that are higher than 160 mg based on your individual situation. Talk to your doctor about your dose.

What are the common side effects seen with Latuda? 

The most common side effects of Latuda include:
  • Drowsiness
  • Abnormal movements (extrapyramidal side effects)
  • Restlessness (akathisia)
  • Nausea
  • Changes in monthly menstrual cycle (amenorrhea)
  • Decreased sexual interest and/or function
  • Swelling of breasts and milk production in males and females
What are rare, but potentially serious side effects seen with Latuda?
  • Decreased white blood cell count (agranulocytosis)
  • Cerebrovascular event (stroke)
  • Anaphylactic reaction (severe allergy)
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)
Elderly individuals with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic medication are at an increased risk of death compared to individuals not receiving antipsychotics. Most deaths appear to be either cardiovascular or infectious. Latuda is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. Some individuals with dementia may however be treated with this medication. Discuss the potential risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor for this indication.

What medications interact with Latuda?
Tell all your doctors, pharmacists, and dentists that you are taking Latuda. You should also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including those obtained without a prescription and herbal and vitamin products. When the levels of a medication are increased or decreased in your bloodstream, this can affect the medication’s efficacy and safety.

The following drugs might increase the levels of Latuda in your bloodstream:
  • Ketoconazole (antifungal)
  • Diltiazem·        
  • Grapefruit juice
The following drug might decrease the levels of Latuda in your bloodstream:
  • Carbamazepine (anticonvulsant)
  • St. John’s Wort (herbal medication)
  • Rifampin
The following types of medications may interact with Latuda:
  • Certain medications for  allergies (e.g., Benadryl [diphenhydramine])
  • Certain medications for sleep (e.g., lorazepam, zopiclone)
  • Certain medications for pain (e.g., fentanyl)
  • Antiparkinson's Agents (dopamine agonists)