Side effect What is it? What should I do if it happens to me?
Dry mouth. Not much saliva or spit. Sugar-free boiled sweets, chewing gum or eating citrus fruits
usually helps. If not, your doctor can give you a mouth spray.
A change in medicine or dose may be possible.
Blurred vision Things look fuzzy and you can’t focus properly. See your
doctor if you are worried. You won’t need glasses.
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.
Difficulty in passing urine Contact your doctor now.
You feel more on edge. Try and relax by taking deep breaths. Wear loose clothing.
See your doctor if it is bad.
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 zotepine at different times.
Your mouth gets full of saliva or spit. You may
drool – your pillow may be wet in the morning
If it annoys you, your doctor can give you a tablet for it. Some
people find propping up pillows at night helps a bit.
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
Feeling shaky or having a tremor. Your neck
may twist back. Your eyes and tongue may
move on their own.
Tell your doctor about this. He/she may be able to do
something about it.
SWEATING You sweat more than usual. See your doctor if it is bad.
WEIGHT GAIN Eating more and putting on weight, especially
just after you start taking zotepine
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.
Your liver is not working as normal. You should
not feel any symptoms. This is only discovered if
your doctor does a blood test.
Continue to take your zotepine. Your doctor will probably want
to do regular blood tests to make sure your liver is O.K.
Serious liver problems don’t occur with zotepine, so don’t
worry too much.
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 feelings.
Feeling sick or being sick. Taking each dose with or after food may help. If it is bad,
contact your doctor.
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
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.
SEIZURES Having fits Stop taking zotepine and contact your doctor now.
TACHYCARDIA This is a fast heart beat. It may feel like
It is not usually dangerous. It can be easily treated if it lasts a
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 cool water.
When I feel better, can I stop taking zotepine?
No. If you stop taking zotepine, your original symptoms may 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 can come off it. Most people need to be on zotepine for quite a long time, sometimes
years. This is not thought to be harmful. Zotepine is not addictive.
Remember, leaflets like this can only describe some of the effects of medication. You may find other books or
leaflets also 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
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