Amisulpride

Sounds like 'AM-i-SULP-i-ride'

Amisulpride is used to treat schizophrenia. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Amisulpride is also called Sulprix.

What is amisulpride?

Amisulpride is used to treat schizophreniaIt does not cure this condition, but is used to help ease the symptoms and help you on your recovery path. It can help improve symptoms such as the experience of hearing voices (hallucinations), ideas that distress you and don't seem to be based in reality (delusions), and difficulty in thinking clearly (thought disorder). Amisulpride belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotics. Read more about antipsychotic medicines.

Dose

In Aotearoa New Zealand amisulpride is available as tablets (100mg, 200mg and 400mg).

  • The dose of amisulpride is different for different people, depending on your condition and your response to the medication. Doses range from 50 milligrams a day to 800 milligrams a day.
  • Some people may require higher doses, up to 1,200 milligrams a day.
  • Always take your amisulpride exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much amisulpride to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.

How to take amisulpride

  • Depending on your dose, you can take amisulpride once a day (lower doses) or 2 times a day, in the morning and evening (for higher doses). Take your amisulpride dose at the same times each day. It is best to take your amisulpride dose before food.
  • Swallow your tablets with a glass of water. 
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Don't take double the dose.
  • Keep taking amisulpride every day. It usually takes a few weeks to start working and it can take several months before you feel the full benefits. Don't stop taking amisulpride suddenly as your symptoms may return if stopped too early; talk to your doctor or nurse before stopping.

Things to consider while you are taking amisulpride

  • Avoid alcohol while you are taking amisulpride, especially when you first start treatment. Alcohol can increase your risk of side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness. 
  • Amisulpride can interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all medicines you are taking including over the counter medicines, herbal and complementary medicines or recreational drugs. 
  • Amisulpride may cause changes in your blood glucose level, cholesterol level and heart function. Your doctor will check your physical health – you may need to have your weight and blood pressure (BP) measured regularly. You may also need blood tests to check your kidneys, liver, cholesterol and glucose levels. 
  • Amisulpride is best avoided for people with certain medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression and diabetes. Contact your doctor if you have or develop any of these conditions while taking it.
  • Contact your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, amisulpride can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling sleepy, drowsy, or tired
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Don't drive or use tools or machinery until you know how this medicine affects you. 
  • Avoid drinking alcohol – it makes these symptoms worse.
  • Tell your doctor if they bother you. 
  • Feeling shaky, restless or agitated 
  • Tell your doctor if they bother you
  • Weight gain
  • Have a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
  • Limit sugary or fatty foods.
  • Talk to your doctor if this concerns you.
  • Constipation
  • Ask your doctor to prescribe a suitable laxative, which you need to take on a regular basis.
  • Eat more fruit, vegetables, brown bread, bran-based breakfast cereals and drink plenty of water.
 
  • Signs of changes in hormones such as changes to periods in women and breast changes in both men and women. 
 
  • These changes are due to raised levels of a hormone called prolactin, and it can be very distressing.
  • Discuss with your doctor.
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product.

Learn more

The following links have more information on amisulpride. Be aware that websites from other countries may contain information that differs from New Zealand recommendations. 

Med-ucation medication benefits & side effects Talking Minds, NZ  
Amisulpride
Medsafe Consumer Information, NZ
Amisulpride Patient Info, UK

References

  1. Amisulpride NZ Formulary
  2. Antipsychotic drugs NZ Formulary
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 12 Aug 2022