How does clozapine work and how is it different from other medications?

Clozapine is a medication used for treatment-resistant schizophrenia and sometimes treatment-resistant bipolar disorder. It is classified as an atypical or second generation antipsychotic​ (SGA) medication. These medications work like the older medications for schizophrenia by blocking a neurotransmitter called dopamine, but also by targeting the neurotransmitter serotonin. Clozapine is unusual in that it targets dopamine less than any of the other antipsychotic medications. In fact, clozapine targets numerous other neurotransmitters making it a unique compound with the highest level of efficacy in treating schizophrenia. Clozapine does also come with required lab monitoring to prevent rare but serious lab abnormalities.

For more information, visit the Clozapine REMS website.

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