Geodon vs Saphris

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For individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, certain medications can help manage and stabilize mood by altering the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Geodon and Saphris are two such drugs frequently prescribed to treat these conditions. Both impact different neurotransmitters, but each has a significant role in maintaining emotional balance among patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Geodon is classified as an atypical antipsychotic that impacts dopamine type 2 (D2) and serotonin type 2 (5HT2) receptors within the brain. On the other hand, Saphris also falls under atypical antipsychotics category targeting multiple neurotransmitter receptors including dopamine D1-4 types, serotonin 5-HT1A/1B/2A/6/7 types along with histamine H1 and adrenergic α-antagonists which leads to its broad-spectrum effect.

What is Geodon?

Ziprasidone (the generic name for Geodon) was the first drug of its kind, marking a significant development in the class of atypical antipsychotics. It was approved by the FDA in 2001 and is used to treat conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Ziprasidone works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (like dopamine and serotonin) in the brain. This medication shows selective influence on these neurotransmitters with only minor effects on others which results in it having fewer side effects than other antipsychotics that have stronger influences.

Asenapine (the generic name for Saphris), another drug from this class, also treats schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but differs slightly in its mechanism of action. Asenapine affects various neurotransmitter systems including dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and histamine receptors; it has a broad spectrum effect which can lead to differing side effects when compared with Ziprasidone.

What conditions is Geodon approved to treat?

Geodon is approved for the treatment of several mental health disorders:

  • Schizophrenia, a severe brain disorder affecting how a person thinks, feels and behaves
  • Acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder (when used alone)
  • Treatment-resistant bipolar depression (in combination with another drug, lithium or valproate).

How does Geodon help with these illnesses?

Geodon helps to manage symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia by adjusting the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. It is an atypical antipsychotic that blocks receptors for these two neurotransmitters, helping to balance their levels within the brain's synapses. Dopamine and serotonin are both critical chemicals that act as messengers in the nervous system, playing vital roles in mood regulation, memory formation, sleep cycles, appetite control among other things. In conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder where there might be imbalances in these transmitters' activities, Geodon can help mitigate negative effects such as hallucinations or mood swings thus aiding patients manage their condition better.

On the other hand, Saphris also works similarly but with a unique characteristic: it dissolves under your tongue without needing water which makes administration easier for some patients. It too modulates dopamine and serotonin activity thereby assisting to stabilize moods and reduce psychotic symptoms associated with certain mental health disorders.

What is Saphris?

Saphris, also known as asenapine, is an atypical antipsychotic used in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It works by affecting various neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly dopamine and serotonin, reducing their reabsorption which increases their levels in the brain. Saphris was first approved by the FDA in 2009. Unlike typical antipsychotics that primarily block dopamine receptors, Saphris has a broader action on multiple neurotransmitter systems including serotonin receptors. This broad spectrum of activity means its side-effect profile differs from traditional antipsychotics; it may cause less movement-related side effects but can be associated with weight gain and metabolic changes (commonly seen with atypical antipsychotics). Its varied impact on both dopamine and serotonin pathways can make it beneficial for individuals who do not respond well to "typical" antipsychotic medications such as Geodon.

What conditions is Saphris approved to treat?

Saphris has been approved by the FDA in the United States for managing these conditions:

  • Schizophrenia, a long-term mental disorder involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior
  • Bipolar I disorder mixed and manic episodes with or without psychotic features. It involves periods of elevated mood followed by periods of depression.

How does Saphris help with these illnesses?

Saphris, like Geodon, operates by interacting with various neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. However, where Saphris truly sets itself apart is its unique sublingual administration method. Patients are advised to let it dissolve under their tongues rather than swallowing it or taking an injection. This can be advantageous for those who struggle with traditional methods of medication intake. Furthermore, Saphris has a well-documented efficacy for both manic and depressive symptoms associated with bipolar disorder as well as schizophrenia. While it shares some side effects common to atypical antipsychotics (such as weight gain), it has less reported incidence of extrapyramidal symptoms compared to other drugs in this class like Geodon.

How effective are both Geodon and Saphris?

Both ziprasidone (Geodon) and asenapine (Saphris) are second-generation antipsychotics with an established history of success in treating patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They were approved by the FDA within a decade apart, Geodon in 2001 and Saphris in 2009. Each drug acts on various neurotransmitters which may determine their prescription under particular circumstances.

The effectiveness of Geodon and Saphris was directly studied in several clinical trials; both drugs exhibited similar efficacy at managing symptoms of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder while maintaining promising safety profiles. In these studies, there were no significant differences between the measures used to assess efficacy for both treatments. A study published in 2013 compared Geodon against Saphris and found that they had similar side effect profiles, although weight gain tends to be less common with Geodon use.

A meta-analysis report from 2017 demonstrated that ziprasidone is effective starting from the first week of treatment, has a favorable side effect profile compared to many other antipsychotics, and it's well-tolerated even among elderly populations. The same study reports that ziprasidone has become one of the most widely prescribed antipsychotic drugs globally due its effectiveness at reducing psychotic symptoms without causing excessive weight gain - a common issue associated with this class of medications.

A review conducted in 2020 indicated that asenapine seems more effective than placebo for acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder but does not seem superior to other available treatments for schizophrenia. Nonetheless, due to its unique sublingual administration route offering rapid onset action potential and lower metabolic syndrome risk than some alternatives, asenapine can be considered optimal when traditional oral medication administration is challenging or if avoiding excess weight gain is particularly important.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Geodon typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Geodon typically range from 20-160 mg/day, but clinical studies have shown that a starting dose of 20 mg twice daily may be adequate for treating schizophrenia in most adults. Adolescents can be started on a similar dosage. In either population, the dosage can be increased after one week if there is no significant response. The maximum dosage that should not be exceeded under any circumstance is 160 mg/day.

On the other hand, Saphris has an initial recommended dose of 5 or 10 mg twice daily for adults suffering from schizophrenia and its maintenance treatment ranges between 2.5 to 10mg twice daily depending upon individual patient needs. For adolescents (between ages of 13-17), it's used at doses up to a maximum total daily dose of twenty milligrams (20mg). As with all medications, changes in dosing regimen should only occur under supervision by your healthcare provider.

At what dose is Saphris typically prescribed?

Treatment with Saphris typically begins with a dosage of 5 mg twice daily. The dose may be increased to 10 mg twice daily depending on the patient's response and tolerance. Each dose should be spaced roughly 12 hours apart. The maximum recommended dosage is 20 mg/day, divided into two doses of 10 mg each and separated by an interval of approximately 12 hours, which may be considered if there is no significant improvement in symptoms after several weeks at a lower dose regimen.

What are the most common side effects for Geodon?

Some of the most common side effects associated with Geodon include:

  • Feeling restless or anxious
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Sleepiness/drowsiness
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Unintentional trembling or shaking
  • Nausea, upset stomach, constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness upon standing up too quickly
  • Sweating excessively

On the other hand, Saphris can cause:

  • Increase in weight
  • A feeling of restlessness that you cannot sit still (akathisia)
  • Drowsiness/sleepiness
  • Sedation and somnolence
  • Oral hypoesthesia (numbness in your mouth)
  • Increased amount of saliva

Remember to consult a medical professional if you experience persistent or worsening symptoms.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Geodon?

Although Geodon and Saphris are similar in many ways, there are important differences to consider. With Geodon, you may experience:

  • Thoughts about suicide or self-harm
  • Allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, hives or severe skin reaction including fever, sore throat, burning eyes and blistering of the skin.
  • Vision problems ranging from blurred vision to tunnel vision.
  • Heart conditions like fast or irregular heartbeats that could lead to feeling faint.
  • Low sodium levels which can cause symptoms like headache, confusion and loss of coordination.
  • Severe nervous system reaction - rigidity in muscles accompanied by high fever and confusion.

On the other hand with Saphris:

  • There's a risk of developing serotonin syndrome which manifests as agitation, hallucinations and rapid heart rate amongst others.
  • You might also experience muscle stiffness along with twitching movements.
  • Nausea and vomiting can be common too.

These lists aren't exhaustive but help highlight some potential side effects for each medication. Always consult your healthcare provider before making changes to your medication regimen.

What are the most common side effects for Saphris?

Saphris, like any other medication, may present various side effects. During its use, patients might experience:

  • Dry mouth or increased salivation
  • Numbness or tingling in the mouth
  • Mild to severe drowsiness
  • Weight gain
  • Upset stomach and digestive issues such as constipation
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Dizziness upon standing due to a sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Uncontrolled movements of the face, tongue, or other parts of the body (tardive dyskinesia)

Please note that it's crucial to communicate with your healthcare provider about any adverse reactions you may have during therapy. If you encounter severe symptoms such as high fever, sweating, confusion/agitation or fast heartbeat — these could be signs of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome which requires immediate medical attention.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Saphris?

While Saphris is generally well-tolerated and effective in managing symptoms of mental disorders, it's important to be aware of potential side effects that may warrant medical attention. These include:

  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue
  • Unusual changes in thoughts or behavior including new or worsening depression, suicidal thoughts or actions
  • A seizure (convulsions)
  • Confusion or trouble thinking clearly
  • Vision problems like blurred vision, eye pain/swelling/redness, seeing halos around lights
  • Disturbances in heartbeat rhythm; either too fast/slow/irregular heartbeats
  • Extreme mood swings manifested by racing thoughts, unusual hyperactivity/energy levels, reckless behavior, excessive happiness or irritability
    Remember to seek immediate medical help if you experience any of the above while on a course of Saphris.

Contraindications for Geodon and Saphris?

Both Geodon and Saphris, along with most other antipsychotic medications, may exacerbate symptoms of depression in some individuals. If you notice your depression intensifying or an increase in suicidal ideation, thoughts or behavior occurs while taking these drugs, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Geodon nor Saphris should be taken if you are currently using or have recently used monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. It's important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you're currently taking; MAOIs will require a washout period of approximately 5 weeks before starting treatment with Geodon or Saphris to avoid dangerous interactions.

How much do Geodon and Saphris cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The pricing for 60 tablets of Geodon (20 mg) averages around $600, which works out to between $10 and $30 per day, depending on your dose.
  • A package of 60 Saphris sublingual tablets (5 mg) costs approximately $900. If taking a standard dose of 10mg twice daily, this would work out to be about $30 per day.

Thus, if you are in the higher dosage range for Geodon (i.e., 160 mg/day or higher), then brand-name Saphris becomes more cost-effective on a per-day treatment basis. Please remember that cost should not be the primary deciding factor when choosing between these medications.

When it comes to their generic counterparts:

  • Ziprasidone Hydrochloride (generic for Geodon) is available in packs ranging from 30 capsules and above with approximate costs as low as $0.50 - $1.25 per day at doses from 40mg/day up to potentially over two dollars at maximum dosages.
  • Asenapine maleate is unfortunately not available yet in generic form; therefore, patients who require an economical option might have to opt for ziprasidone hydrochloride instead due its affordability compared to branded Saphris.

Always consult your healthcare provider before making changes based on medication prices alone – effectiveness and side effect profiles must always take precedence over cost considerations.

Popularity of Geodon and Saphris

Ziprasidone, known by the brand name Geodon, is an atypical antipsychotic used in managing symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In 2020, it was estimated that about 800,000 prescriptions were filled for Ziprasidone in the United States. Despite being less prescribed than other atypical antipsychotics like Risperdal or Abilify, its use has been generally increasing since its introduction to the market.

Asenapine, sold under the brand name Saphris among others, is another second-generation (atypical) antipsychotic primarily used to treat schizophrenia and acute mania associated with bipolar disorder. It's a relatively new medication on the market compared to Geodon which might explain why fewer people are prescribed this drug - roughly around 300,000 prescriptions were filled for Asenapine in 2020. The number of prescriptions has remained fairly steady over recent years as healthcare professionals gain more experience with this newer medicine.


Both Geodon (ziprasidone) and Saphris (asenapine) have extensive usage records in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Supported by numerous clinical studies, they are more effective than placebo treatments. In some cases, the drugs may be used together but this is subject to careful consideration by a physician due to potential for interactions. Due to their different mechanisms of action — Geodon acting primarily on dopamine and serotonin receptors, while Saphris acts on various neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and histamine — they are typically prescribed under varied circumstances.

Generic forms of these medications can offer significant cost savings especially for those paying out-of-pocket. Both Geodon and Saphris may require an adjustment period wherein effects might not be immediately noticeable.

The side effect profile between the two drugs is generally similar; both being usually well-tolerated though with differing common adverse reactions: Geodon often causes drowsiness or upset stomach whereas Saphris commonly causes weight gain or increased appetite. For both drugs however, patients must closely monitor their moods when starting treatment; seeking medical help immediately if manic episodes worsen or suicidal thoughts emerge.