Invega is a mental health prescription drug that is used to treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. It’s sometimes used off-label as a treatment for bipolar disorder or similar disorders. Invega is the brand name for a medication called paliperidone. It’s classified as an atypical antipsychotic, also called a second-generation antipsychotic. For schizophrenia, it can be used in patients who are age 12 and older. For schizoaffective disorder, it is only used in adults.

This medication helps the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain to be rebalanced so that there’s an improvement of behavior, mood, and thinking.

Invega Forms

It’s available in a number of forms to treat various patients who may need fast-acting or slower-acting medication to help with their thinking and mood.

Invega Tablets

The oral tablets are an extended-release formulation. There are several different strengths available. It’s common to treat schizophrenia with daily tablets. However, some people may need a way to take the medication less often.

Invega Vials/Injections

There are several different types of intramuscular injections that Invega is available in. There is a one-month IM injection, a three-month, and a six-month dose available. The specific form of this medication often depends on how well it works for patients and the type and severity of the mental health condition. The IM injections are available as a pre-filled syringe.

Precautions and Warnings of Invega

Before you take this medication, let your doctor know if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or whether you’re allergic to risperidone. It shouldn’t be taken if you’re allergic to it.

It’s possible for Invega to raise your risk of a heart condition called QT prolongation. This can cause the heartbeat to be irregular or very fast. It can also cause patients to faint or have serious dizziness. You may need to get immediate medical care for this condition. Your risk of developing this is higher if you have some specific conditions or take another medication that could also cause this problem. Let your doctor know all the medications you take for this reason.

If you have QT prolongation or heart attacks in your family, tell the doctor about it. If you have a low level of magnesium or potassium in your blood, this is another risk factor. Taking diuretics can also increase your risk of developing this heart problem. If you have a condition that makes you vomit often, have frequent diarrhea or chronic sweating, this can also be a risk factor.

When you take Invega, it’s possible to develop drowsiness or dizziness. If you use cannabis or drink alcohol, this can make these effects worse. It’s recommended that patients don’t take either of these substances while on Invega. Before you drive or operate other machinery, you need to know how this medication affects you. Be sure that you are able to be alert and focused on this medication before you do any dangerous activities.

If you’re going to have surgery, especially surgery for glaucoma or cataracts, make sure your doctor knows that you’re taking Invega as well as any other medications that you’re on. Invega can also cause you to produce less sweat, and this raises your risk of developing heat stroke. When you’re in hot weather, avoid exercise or hard work that could cause overheating. You should also avoid hot tubs. When it’s hot, don’t overdress, and take in a lot of fluids. If you start to feel overheated, rest in a cool place as needed. If you get a fever that lingers, a headache, mental or mood changes, or you get dizzy, you need immediate medical help.

Older people have a higher level of sensitivity to side effects from Invega. This is especially true for lightheadedness, dizziness, and drowsiness. This can also put them at a higher risk of falls.

This drug is sometimes used during pregnancy when the patient clearly needs it. There are some possible side effects in babies, however, so it’s important to discuss any pregnancy with your doctor and weigh the possible effects. This medication does pass into breast milk, and this could cause certain effects in babies. Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding while on Invega.

Once you start taking this medication don’t stop taking it without your doctor telling you to. If you do need to stop taking it, you may need to slowly taper off the medication under your doctor’s supervision for your safety.

You also need to tell your doctor about your entire medical history and any conditions you have. It’s especially important to let them know whether you have specific conditions like:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Dementia
  • Seizures
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Problems with the stomach esophagus or stomach
  • Specific eye problems like glaucoma or cataracts
  • Diabetes or a family history of it
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • High cholesterol or high triglyceride levels

Side Effects of Invega

The side effects that patients have on this medication can depend on a lot of factors such as the dosage taken and the type of mental health condition that’s being treated. Patients may have side effects for a few days to a few weeks before they gradually stop. It’s also possible for the side effects to linger for as long as you take the medication.

Common Side Effects

Some of the milder and more common side effects can include:

  • The common cold and other upper respiratory infections
  • Dizziness
  • Faster heart rate
  • Indigestion
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Constipation
  • Sleepiness

Schizophrenia Side Effects

People who take this medication for schizophrenia most often have these side effects:

  • Faster heart rate
  • Involuntary movements or stiffness

Schizoaffective Side Effects

Patients who take it for schizoaffective disorder most often experience:

  • Sleepiness
  • Involuntary movements or stiffness
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Weight gain

Serious Side Effects

There are also more serious side effects that can occur, though they are more rare, and these should be reported to your doctor:

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Seizures
  • Tardive dyskinesia
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Body temperature management problems
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Metabolism changes
  • Allergic reaction – swelling in face or in mouth, hives, itching, and trouble breathing

Drug Interactions with Invega

There are many other medications that can cause an adverse interaction with Invega. These can include:

Strengths and Dosages of Invega

There are different ways to take Invega, including in tablet form and with a syringe. The tablets are all extended release, and they come in strengths of 1.5 mg, 3 mg, 6 mg, and 9 mg. There is also an intramuscular suspension that comes in a pre-filled syringe and is given once a month. This version comes in 39 mg, 78 mg, 117 mg, 156 mg, 234 mg.

The IM injectable version that is given every three months comes in 273 mg, 410 mg, 546 mg, and 819 mg, There is also a version that is injected every six months. This one comes in 1,092 mg/3.5mL and 1,560 mg/5 mL.

Extended-release tablets:1.5 mg, 3 mg, 6 mg, 9 mg
IM injectable 1-month:39 mg, 78 mg, 117 mg, 156 mg, 234 mg
IM injectable 3-month:273 mg, 410 mg, 546 mg, 819 mg
IM injectable 6-month:1,092 mg/3.5 mL, 1,560 mg/5 mL

Cost of Invega in the USA

The price depends on the strength of the dosage and where you get it filled as well as what type of insurance you have, if any. An IM injection of some of the strengths of this medication can cost anywhere from $650 to $20,000. The dosages that are taken less often are more expensive because they have a higher strength. The tablet form can often be purchased for about $400 for a 30-day supply.

Why Is Invega So Expensive?

Invega is an improvement over many of the popular antipsychotics that came out before it. Its improved function and high demand have kept the cost of it high. It’s also covered by all Medicare prescription drug plans, so the price is generally elevated to collect high prices from this program.

FAQs of Invega

What is Invega used for?

It’s a drug that’s used to treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder as well as certain off-label uses.

How long does Invega stay in your system?

It can stay in your system for as long as about 115 hours. This is close to five days.

How to flush Invega out of your system?

There isn’t a good way to flush it out of your system quickly, and patients shouldn’t try to do so. Instead, talk to your doctor about tapering off the medication.

How often is Invega given?

It can be taken every day in its tablet form. In its injectable form, it can be given once a month, once every three months, or once every six months.

How long does Invega take to work?

It can make patients start feeling better within a week of first taking it. It will take a couple more weeks to get the maximum benefit from it.

Are there any withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Invega?

It isn’t known whether this medication can cause a lot of withdrawal symptoms in those who stop taking it, but effects generally aren’t reported. However, it can cause withdrawal in babies whose mothers took this medication during their pregnancies.

What are the steps for injecting Invega?

It’s generally a healthcare provider who injects this medication. First, the area of the injection site is cleaned with alcohol wipes. The needle is then inserted into a large muscle such as the gluteal or deltoid muscle. The button is pressed to release the medication into the muscle.

What happens if I miss a dose of Invega?

It depends on which form you are taking. If you miss your injection by a few weeks, you generally need to get it as soon as possible and set a new schedule for taking your injections. If you take a tablet form of it, you can generally take it if it’s only been a few hours since your missed dose. Don’t ever take two doses at once to compensate for one that’s been missed.

What happens if you take too much Invega?

If you take too much of this medication, you may need emergency medical attention. It can cause you to have serious dizziness or drowsiness as well as spasms or muscle stiffness. An overdose of this medication can be fatal if enough is taken. If you take too much, call your doctor right away or get emergency help for an overdose.

Are there Invega Alternatives?

There are a number of other antipsychotic medications that might be prescribed in place of Invega. These include Seroquel, Abilify, Latuda, Risperidone, Zyprexa, Clozapine, Vraylar, and Risperdal.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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