Side effect What is it? What should I do if this happens to me?
Feeling restless or not being able to get to
sleep at night.
Discuss with your doctor. They may change the time of
Feeling shaky or having a tremor. Your neck
may twist back. Your eyes and tongue may
move on their own.
Your doctor may be able to give you something for it.
Alternatively, your doctor can change your medication to
one that doesn't have this side effect.
Prolactin is a natural chemical we all have.
High levels can affect periods in women or
cause impotence in men. It may also cause
breast tenderness and milk secretion, in men
as well as women.
This sometimes wears off in a few weeks, but discuss this
with your doctor anyway. It may be that a change in dose
or different drug will help.
AKATHISIA You feel restless, unable to feel comfortable
unless you are moving.
Tell your doctor about this. It may be possible to change
your drug or dose, or give you something to reduce these
CONSTIPATION Feeling "bunged up" inside. You can't pass a
motion or stool.
Eat more fibre e.g. bran, fruit and vegetables. Do more
walking. Make sure you drink plenty of fluid. A mild
laxative from a pharmacy might help.
DROWSINESS Feeling sleepy or sluggish. It can last for a few
hours after taking your dose
Don't drive or use machinery. Ask your doctor if you can
take your medicine at a different time.
Feeling sick or being sick. Taking each dose with or after food may help. If it is bad,
contact your doctor.
HYPOTENSION A low blood pressure. You may feel faint when
you stand up.
Try not to stand up too quickly. If you feel dizzy, don’t
drive. This dizziness is not dangerous
NMS Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome includes a
high body temperature, muscle stiffness and
being unable to move.
It usually occurs within a few weeks of a dose change.
Contact your doctor immediately. Keep cool, with fans or
WEIGHT GAIN Eating more and putting on weight, especially
just after you start taking amisulpride or
Avoid fatty foods like chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks. A
diet full of vegetables and fibre will usually help, as will
physical activities such as walking. If it becomes a
problem or you are worried, ask to see a dietician.
What about alcohol?
It is normally recommended that if you are taking amisulpride or sulpiride you should not drink alcohol. This is because
amisulpride, sulpiride and alcohol can all cause drowsiness. If amisulpride or sulpiride are taken with alcohol, severe
drowsiness will occur. This can lead to falls or accidents. As well as this, drinking alcohol often makes psychosis
worse. Excessive drinking is especially likely to do this. Once you are used to this medication, you may find that small
amounts of alcohol do not cause any problems with it. It is, however, best to avoid alcohol altogether for the first one or
two months that you are taking it. It pays to be very cautious if you do decide to drink because alcohol affects people in
different ways, especially when they are taking medication.
Don't stop taking your medication because you fancy a drink. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor,
pharmacist or nurse. If you do drink alcohol, drink only small amounts. Never drink any alcohol and drive.
When I feel better, can I stop taking amisulpride or sulpiride?
If you stop taking amisulpride or sulpiride suddenly your original symptoms are likely to return, but this may not be for 3
to 6 months after you stop the drug. You and your doctor should decide together when you should come off it. Most
people need to be on amisulpride or sulpiride for quite a long time, sometimes years. This is not thought to be harmful.
Remember, leaflets like this can only describe some of the effects of medication. You may also find
other books or leaflets useful. If you have access to the internet you may find a lot of information there
as well, but be careful, as internet based information is not always accurate.
2001 United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group www.ukppg.org.uk
This leaflet is to help you understand about your medicine. It is not an official manufacturer's Patient Information
Leaflet. For more information call the UKPPG National Telephone Helpline, 11am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
on 020 7919 2999 or visit www.nmhct.nhs.uk/pharmacy
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