Saphris (Asenapine) is a medication used for the treatment of mental disorders such as bipolar disorders in adults and children 10 years and above and schizophrenia in adults.

It is categorized as an atypical antipsychotic and works by restoring the balance of certain chemicals in your brain.

Saphris restores the balance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine in your brain, which regulate mood, thought process, and behavior.

By modulating this activity, the medication helps reduce symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders like hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and delusions.

Saphris Precautions and Warnings

  • Cerebrovascular Events: Elderly patients using Saphris may be at a higher risk of developing cerebrovascular events such as stroke, seizures, and transient ischemic attacks.
  • Leukopenia: Patients with a pre-existing condition of leukopenia should avoid using Saphris because the medication may worsen their condition. Stop taking Saphris at the first sign of a decline in white blood cells.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: Saphris causes hypersensitivity reactions such as angioedema and anaphylaxis. Seek medical attention in case you experience any symptoms of anaphylaxis or angioedema.
  • Tardive Dyskinesia: Using Saphris may cause you to develop Tardive Dyskinesia. Inform your doctor if you experience symptoms like uncontrolled chewing movements, lip smacking or puckering, and puffing of the cheeks.
  • High Blood Sugar: If you have diabetes, avoid using Saphris because it may cause an increase in your blood sugar levels.
  • Suicide: Individuals suffering from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia may be at risk of committing suicide or self-harm after taking Saphris. If you notice such behavior, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Blood Clot Formation: Taking Saphris may cause the formation of blood clots, which can reduce blood flow to the organs of your body. If you have a history of blood clotting, you might be at a higher risk of having a stroke or deep vein thrombosis.

Side Effects of Saphris

While Saphris provides beneficial effects, it can also cause unwanted side effects. However, not every patient experiences these side effects. Mild side effects should disappear on their own, while severe side effects will require immediate medical attention if they occur. Your doctor should advise you on how to manage side effects.

Common Side Effects

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased touch sensation
  • Restlessness
  • Shaking in the legs and arms
  • Headaches
  • Slurred speech
  • Pale skin

Severe Side Effects

  • Insomnia
  • Inability to move your eyes or increased blinking of the eyelid
  • Coma
  • Confusions
  • Feeling anxiety
  • Having a stiff muscle
  • Having trouble swallowing food
  • Eye symptoms such as blurred vision, swelling of your eyes, or seeing halos around lights. You may also experience sudden vision loss and tunnel vision.
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations

Drug Interactions with Saphris

Before taking Saphris, you should inform your healthcare provider if you are taking any other medication. Saphris may interact with other medications causing adverse side effects or may interfere with the efficacy of the drug.

Drug Interaction
OlanzapineConcurrent use of olanzapine and Saphris may increase the risk of additive sedative effects such as metabolic disturbances, weight gain, and tardive dyskinesia.
MorphineThe interaction between morphine and Saphris can lead to enhanced central nervous system depression, which may increase the risk of respiratory depression, coma, and even death.
LorazepamCombining these two medications can increase sedative effects such as confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, respiratory depression, and potentially dangerous falls.
FluoxetineUsing fluoxetine and Saphris concurrently increases the risk of serotonin syndrome with side effects such as nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, tremor, and hallucinations.
ValproateValproate may induce the metabolism of Saphris potentially reducing its efficacy. This can cause side effects such as confusion, neurological conditions, altered mental status, and drowsiness.
MetoprololTaking metoprolol while using Saphris may potentiate orthostatic hypotension, causing side effects such as bradycardia, fatigue, dizziness, and cardiovascular complications.

Strengths and Dosages of Saphris

Age Dosing  No. of Times Per Day
 Minimum Dosage Maximum Dosage  
Children 10 to 17 years of age

 

2.5 mg10 mgTwo times per day
Adults 18 years and above

 

5 mg10 mgTwo times per day

The strengths and dosage of Saphris depend on various factors such as your medical condition, tolerance of the drug, individual requirements, and any other medications that you are currently taking.

For optimal absorption, place the tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve fully. The tablet will dissolve in saliva quickly. Do not crush, split, chew, or swallow the medication. Do not eat or drink for 10 minutes after administration.

Take Saphris regularly to maximize its benefit. To help you remember to take your dose, take the medication at the same time every day. It can take a few weeks for you to experience the full effects of the drug.

Cost of Saphris in the USA

A 60-tablet supply of Saphris sublingual tablets 2.5 mg costs around $1,274 without insurance. This cost can vary depending on the pharmacy you go to.

Why is Saphris so Expensive?

There is a high market demand for Saphris due to its effectiveness in managing mental health conditions. This allows the manufacturer to maintain higher prices for the drug.

Pharmaceutical companies hold patents to new drugs, which grants the opportunity to produce and sell the medicine for a certain period, usually around 20 years. During this period, the generic version of Saphris cannot enter the market. This allows manufacturers to set high prices for the drug to recoup the money invested in research to develop the drug.

Saphris Alternatives

While Saphris has demonstrated efficacy in decreasing symptoms and improving quality of life, some patients may not tolerate it. Looking into other alternative medications to Saphris is important in providing personalized treatment and effective care for patients. The alternatives include:

Saphris FAQs

What is Saphris used for?

Saphris is used for treating bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The medication is used in managing symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, and mood swings by balancing brain chemicals.

How long it takes for Saphris to work?

Ideally, Saphris starts working in 1 to 2 weeks. However, you should expect to see significant improvement after several weeks of taking Saphris, with some people experiencing full effects during the first 3 to 4 months of treatment.

How long does Saphris stay in your system?

Saphris can stay in your system for approximately 24 hours.

How long does Saphris withdrawal symptoms last?

Saphris withdrawal may last from a few days to several weeks, with symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, mood swings, and irritability. Tapering under medical supervision is advised to minimize withdrawal effects.

How do I taper off Saphris?

You should strictly taper off Saphris under the guidance of your doctor to help minimize symptoms and ensure safety.

What happens if you take too much Saphris?

Taking too much of Saphris can be fatal. Symptoms such as confusion, agitation, and restless muscle movement may occur. If you take an overdose, seek help as soon as possible.

What happens if you missed your dose of Saphris?

If you miss a dose of Saphris, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular dose.

What time of day should I take Saphris?

Saphris can be taken any time of the day. It is recommended to take the medication at the same time every day to help maintain the consistency of the drug in your body.

What should I avoid while taking Saphris?

Avoid consuming alcohol or taking illegal drugs when using Saphris because it may reduce the medication’s effectiveness and increase its adverse effects.

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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