Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Is Latuda Bad For You?

Also Known As: Lurasidone



Short answer

Latuda, an atypical antipsychotic, is not 'bad' for everyone but carries potential side effects and long-term risks. It's particularly effective in treating schizophrenia and bipolar depression. Its side effects include drowsiness, EPS, and minimal weight gain, managed via medical guidance. Long-term, it may cause tardive dyskinesia, metabolic changes, and increased prolactin levels, thus necessitating regular health monitoring. Interaction with certain drugs may alter its effects or introduce risks. Though lower in metabolic side effects compared to peers, it must be used judiciously, especially during pregnancy and lactation.



Long answer

Understanding Latuda: Purpose and Mechanism of Action

Latuda, known generically as lurasidone, is an atypical antipsychotic medication primarily used to treat schizophrenia in adults and teenagers, as well as bipolar depression in adults. Its status as an atypical antipsychotic sets it apart from older, typical antipsychotics by presenting a different side effect profile and potentially lower risk of certain adverse effects.

The purpose behind Latuda's use in the clinical setting is to alleviate the symptoms associated with psychotic disorders and mood disturbances. For individuals with schizophrenia, Latuda can help reduce hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorders. For those with bipolar disorder, it particularly targets the depressive episodes, aiding in the relief of symptoms such as sadness, loss of interest, and concentration issues.

Latuda's mechanism of action, while not fully understood, is believed to be related to its effects on the brain's neurotransmitter systems. Lurasidone has a high affinity for dopamine D2 receptors and serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT7 receptors. This dual-action is thought to contribute to its therapeutic effects and distinguish it from some other medications used in treating mental health disorders.

Research studies have provided insight into Latuda's pharmacological profile:

  • A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggests that the affinity Latuda has for 5-HT7 receptors might help improve cognitive function and mood, making it beneficial for depression in bipolar disorder.
  • Findings in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment journal indicate that the antagonism of 5-HT2A receptors by Latuda could lead to fewer extrapyramidal side effects (movement disorders associated with antipsychotic drugs) and lesser weight gain compared to other atypical antipsychotics.

Latuda also interacts with alpha-adrenergic and histamine receptors to a lesser extent. Negative effects on alpha-adrenergic receptors can lead to blood pressure changes, while histamine receptor involvement may cause sedation. These interactions underline the importance of monitoring vital signs and counseling patients on potential drowsiness when initiating therapy.

As with all medications, it's essential for healthcare providers to consider the pharmacodynamics of Latuda when prescribing it to patients. Knowledge of Latuda's purpose and its complex mechanism of action helps in predicting therapeutic outcomes and managing expectations for both patients and caregivers, ensuring medication use is both safe and effective.

Common Side Effects of Latuda and Their Management

Latuda (lurasidone) is an antipsychotic medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar depression. As with any medication, it has potential side effects that patients should be aware of. Understanding these side effects and how to manage them can help individuals maintain their treatment regimen and quality of life.

1. Drowsiness:

  • Incidence: Drowsiness or sedation is a common side effect and could impact daily activities.
  • Management: Taking Latuda at night may mitigate this issue. It's also advisable to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you understand how the medication affects you.

2. Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS):

  • Incidence: Symptoms can include restlessness, tremors, and muscle stiffness.
  • Management: Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications like benztropine or adjust your Latuda dosage to alleviate these symptoms.

3. Weight Gain:

  • Incidence: Some patients may experience weight gain, although Latuda is considered to have a lower risk for this side effect compared to other antipsychotics.
  • Management: Maintain a balanced diet and regular exercise routine. Consult a dietician if necessary to create a weight management plan.

4. Nausea:

  • Incidence: Nausea is commonly reported, particularly when starting treatment.
  • Management: Taking Latuda with food can help reduce nausea. Small, frequent meals throughout the day may also relieve symptoms.

5. Akathisia:

  • Incidence: This refers to a feeling of inner restlessness and a compelling need to be in constant motion.
  • Management: Lowering the dose or switching to another medication can be effective; beta-blockers or anticholinergic agents may also help.

6. Increased Prolactin Levels:

  • Incidence: Latuda may cause an increase in prolactin, leading to symptoms like breast enlargement and lactation.
  • Management: Monitoring prolactin levels and adjusting the dosage or switching to a different medication may be necessary.

7. Metabolic Changes:

  • Incidence: This includes changes in blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
  • Management: Regular monitoring of blood levels is crucial, and lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are often recommended.

It is worth noting that the severity of side effects may vary among individuals, and some side effects may diminish over time. A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice suggests that patients on Latuda often experience fewer instances of certain side effects, such as weight gain and metabolic syndrome, compared to other antipsychotics (Potkin et al., 2012). However, each patient's experience is unique, and side effects should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

It's imperative for patients to consult their healthcare providers before making any changes to their medication regimen. Managing side effects successfully often involves a collaborative effort between patient and provider to adjust the dosage or explore alternative treatments, ensuring both the efficacy of the medication and the well-being of the patient.

Risks Associated with Long-Term Use of Latuda

Latuda (lurasidone) is an atypical antipsychotic medication prescribed to treat conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar depression. While it can be highly effective, long-term use of Latuda, as with any medication, carries potential risks that must be carefully considered and monitored by healthcare professionals. Understanding these risks can help patients and physicians make informed decisions about treatment options.

1. Tardive Dyskinesia:

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a serious and sometimes irreversible side effect that involves involuntary, repetitive body movements. This condition can develop after long-term use of antipsychotics, including Latuda. The risk of developing TD increases with the duration of treatment and the total cumulative dose.

2. Metabolic Syndrome:

Atypical antipsychotics like Latuda have been associated with metabolic changes that may increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This cluster of conditions includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.

3. Weight Gain:

Long-term use of Latuda can contribute to significant weight gain, which is a common concern with many antipsychotic medications. Excessive weight gain is linked to a higher risk of diabetes, hypertension, and other health issues.

4. Hyperprolactinemia:

Lurasidone can cause an increase in prolactin levels, known as hyperprolactinemia. Elevated prolactin may lead to menstrual disturbances, sexual dysfunction, and, in rare cases, breast development in males (gynecomastia) or galactorrhea (milk production).

5. Neurological Impairment:

There is a concern that long-term antipsychotic therapy might lead to subtle cognitive decline or neurological impairment, though direct evidence linking Latuda to this is limited. Monitoring cognitive function during treatment is important, especially in younger populations.

6. Potential to Exacerbate Parkinson's Disease Symptoms:

Latuda, like other antipsychotics, may exacerbate symptoms of Parkinson's Disease or Lewy Body Dementia due to its dopamine antagonist properties. Patients with these conditions should be treated with caution.

7. Risk of Relapse:

While not a direct side effect, there is a risk that discontinuing Latuda without proper medical guidance can lead to a relapse of the symptoms it was prescribed to treat. Tapering off the medication under supervision is generally recommended to avoid withdrawal symptoms or sudden relapse.

In conclusion, ongoing research is necessary to fully understand the long-term impact of Latuda use. It is crucial for patents on Latuda to have regular consultations with their healthcare provider to monitor for these potential risks. Studies such as "The Long-term Safety and Effectiveness of Lurasidone in Schizophrenia: A 22-Month, Open-Label Extension Study" (Correll CU, Cucchiaro J, Silva R, et al., J Clin Psychiatry. 2016) and similar research provide insight into the safety profile of Latuda and guide clinical practice for better patient care.

Potential for Drug Interactions with Latuda

Latuda (lurasidone) is an atypical antipsychotic medication prescribed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar depression in adults. While it can be an effective treatment for these disorders, it is crucial to understand its potential for interactions with other drugs. Drug interactions can alter how Latuda works or increase the risk for serious side effects, making awareness and careful management essential for anyone taking this medication.

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants:

  • Concurrent use of CNS depressants such as benzodiazepines, opioids, and alcohol can enhance the sedative effects of Latuda, leading to increased drowsiness, dizziness, and risk of injury.

CYP3A4 Inhibitors and Inducers:

  • Latuda is primarily metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme. Strong inhibitors of CYP3A4 (like ketoconazole, ritonavir, and grapefruit juice) can increase Latuda concentrations in the blood, potentially leading to a higher chance of side effects.
  • Conversely, CYP3A4 inducers (like carbamazepine, phenytoin, and St. John's Wort) can lower the blood levels of Latuda, reducing its efficacy.

Antihypertensive Drugs:

  • Latuda may enhance the effects of antihypertensive drugs, increasing the risk of hypotension (low blood pressure), especially upon standing (orthostatic hypotension).

QT-Prolonging Drugs:

  • Patients should be cautious about using Latuda alongside other QT-prolonging drugs (such as certain antiarrhythmic medications, antibiotics like moxifloxacin, and antipsychotics like ziprasidone) as the combination can increase the risk of a heart rhythm condition known as torsades de pointes.

Diabetes Medications:

  • Since antipsychotic drugs, including Latuda, can affect glucose levels, they may interact with insulin or oral diabetes medication, necessitating close monitoring of blood sugar levels.

Hormonal Contraceptives:

  • Hormonal contraceptives' effectiveness can be reduced when taken with Latuda, so alternative or additional non-hormonal birth control methods should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

Interactions with Food:

  • Latuda should be taken with food to ensure adequate absorption, but certain foods like grapefruit can affect drug metabolism as previously mentioned.

It is worth noting that this is not a comprehensive list of all possible drug interactions with Latuda. Patients should disclose all medications, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs they are taking to their healthcare provider to prevent harmful interactions. Moreover, several online tools and resources provide an interaction checker that can help identify potential conflicts.

Lastly, it is crucial to reference clinical studies and professional guidelines when considering drug interactions. The FDA provides medication guides, and professional associations like the American Psychiatric Association offer treatment guidelines that may include information about managing drug interactions.

In summary, the potential for drug interactions with Latuda necessitates caution and a thorough evaluation of a patient's medication regimen. Health professionals play a pivotal role in monitoring for interactions and ensuring the safe and effective use of Latuda in combination with other substances.

Latuda's Impact on Metabolic Health

Latuda, which is the brand name for lurasidone, is an atypical antipsychotic medication approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar depression. Metabolic health is a significant aspect to consider when assessing the potential impact of any antipsychotic medication, including Latuda. Understanding how Latuda can affect an individual's metabolic processes is crucial for healthcare providers and patients.

Atypical antipsychotics in general have been associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Below is a detailed exploration of how Latuda interacts with various aspects of metabolic health:

  • Weight Gain: One of the primary concerns with atypical antipsychotics is weight gain. However, studies suggest that Latuda has a lower risk of significant weight gain compared to other drugs in the same class. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that patients taking lurasidone exhibited minimal changes in body weight. The exact mechanism by which Latuda minimizes weight gain is not fully understood but is a point of consideration for patients with existing weight concerns.
  • Blood Glucose Levels: Some antipsychotics have been known to cause hyperglycemia, which is an elevation in blood sugar levels. Latuda’s effect on blood glucose is comparatively moderate when juxtaposed with certain other antipsychotics. Nevertheless, close monitoring of blood sugar levels is recommended for patients with diabetes or those with a high risk of developing diabetes.
  • Cholesterol and Triglycerides: Antipsychotic medications can impact lipid profiles by increasing levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and triglycerides, which are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Clinical trials have shown that lurasidone causes less pronounced changes in these lipids, and a systematic review published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment reinforced the notion that lurasidone may have a more favorable lipid profile.
  • Prolactin Levels: Elevated prolactin levels are a side effect of many antipsychotic medications, leading to a variety of health issues. Latuda, as per the current research, has a lower propensity to increase prolactin levels. This is beneficial as higher prolactin levels can lead to menstrual irregularities in women, decreased bone density, and sexual dysfunction.

It is essential to note that individual responses to medication can vary greatly. Monitoring by healthcare professionals is imperative when starting or adjusting doses of Latuda. Regular follow-ups to assess metabolic parameters such as weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, and lipid profile should be part of the treatment plan.

While Latuda appears to have a more benign metabolic profile than many other antipsychotic medications, it is not without its risks. Patients should engage in a dialogue with their healthcare provider about the potential metabolic side effects of Latuda, including strategies for mitigation such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications. As part of a broader treatment plan, these considerations contribute to optimizing the therapeutic effectiveness of Latuda while minimizing its potential adverse effects on metabolic health.

Any medication regimen should be tailored to the individual, and the risks of untreated mental health conditions must always be balanced against potential medication side effects. Therefore, when considering Latuda, it’s important to look at the overall picture of how the medication fits into managing one’s mental health condition holistically.

Special Considerations: Latuda During Pregnancy and Lactation

When prescribing medication, healthcare providers must carefully consider the potential benefits and risks, particularly in sensitive populations such as pregnant or lactating women. Latuda (lurasidone HCl), an antipsychotic medication often used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar depression, is no exception. Below is an overview of important considerations for Latuda's use during pregnancy and lactation.


  • Risk Category: The FDA has classified Latuda in Pregnancy Category B, which indicates that there is no evidence of risk to animal fetuses; however, there are no well-controlled studies in pregnant women. As such, this medication should be only used if the potential benefits justify the potential risks to the fetus.
  • Potential Complications: Late in pregnancy, there is a risk for extrapyramidal symptoms (movement disorders) or withdrawal symptoms in newborns after delivery if the mother has been taking Latuda.
  • Neonatal Health: Newborns exposed to antipsychotic drugs, including Latuda, during the third trimester are at risk for complications including agitation, hypertonia, hypotonia, tremor, somnolence, respiratory distress, and feeding disorder.


  • Excretion in Breast Milk: Latuda is excreted in breast milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Latuda, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
  • Infant Exposure: The amount of Latuda that an infant would be exposed to through breastmilk is typically small, but the long-term health effects on the infant are unknown.

Both scenarios warrant careful consideration and consultation with a health care provider. The decision to continue Latuda during pregnancy or while breastfeeding should be made based on the maternal benefits and potential neonatal risks. When considering Latuda in a pregnant or lactating woman, the healthcare provider should:

  • Evaluate the maternal need for Latuda and any possible alternatives that may be safer during pregnancy or lactation.
  • Discuss the potential risks and benefits with the patient, ensuring an informed decision is made.
  • Monitor fetal development during pregnancy, and if Latuda is used, prepare for potential complications at birth.
  • If used during lactation, monitor the infant for any adverse effects, considering the possible need for alternative feeding options.

It is essential for pregnant and lactating women to have an open dialogue with their healthcare provider about the use of Latuda to ensure the safest possible outcome for both mother and child.

References to clinical studies and professional guidelines can provide further insights into the use of this medication during pregnancy and lactation. For example, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry assessed the safety of antipsychotics during pregnancy and highlighted the need for individualized treatment plans.

Frequently asked questions

Abrupt discontinuation of Latuda can lead to withdrawal symptoms or a relapse in mental health symptoms. It is recommended that Latuda be tapered off under the supervision of a healthcare provider to minimize these risks.

Latuda is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents aged 13 to 17 years. It is essential to consult a pediatric psychiatrist for a thorough evaluation and consider the potential benefits against the risks before using Latuda in pediatric populations.

Latuda may reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives, so it's important for patients to discuss using additional or alternative non-hormonal birth control methods with their healthcare provider to prevent unintended pregnancy.

Alcohol can increase the sedative effects of Latuda and may also interfere with its pharmacological action. Therefore, patients are generally advised to abstain from alcohol while on Latuda therapy to prevent adverse effects and maintain medication efficacy.

Ask a question about Latuda and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • drowsiness
  • extrapyramidal symptoms (eps)
  • weight gain
  • nausea
  • akathisia
  • increased prolactin levels
  • metabolic changes

Possible long-term side effects

  • tardive dyskinesia
  • metabolic syndrome
  • weight gain
  • hyperprolactinemia
  • neurological impairment
  • exacerbation of parkinson's disease symptoms
  • risk of relapse


  • alleviates schizophrenia symptoms
  • mitigates bipolar depression
  • improves cognitive function and mood
  • fewer movement disorders
  • lesser weight gain than other antipsychotics

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Dr. Becky Maes
Published on: 02-15-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Dr. Becky Maes
Published on: 02-15-2024

Random Page

Check These Out!