• Paliperidone long-acting injection will be given to you by your doctor or nurse every four weeks.
  • The most common side-effects are headache and difficulties sleeping.
  • Paliperidone may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Use a sunscreen to protect your skin.

About paliperidone long-acting injection

Type of medicine Atypical antipsychotic
Used for Easing the symptoms of schizophrenia
Also called Xeplion®
Available as Injection

Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that causes disordered ideas, beliefs and experiences. Paliperidone is used to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia. Such symptoms include hearing, seeing, or sensing things that are not real, having mistaken beliefs, and feeling unusually suspicious.

Paliperidone works by correcting the imbalance of chemical substances which act on the nervous system in your brain.

Long-acting or 'depot' injections are used once your symptoms have been eased by taking tablets. The injection slowly releases paliperidone into your body and is usually given every month. The main advantage of a depot injection is that you do not have to remember to take tablets every day.

Before using paliperidone injection

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start having paliperidone injections, it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have a heart condition or blood vessel disease.
  • If you have liver, kidney, or prostate problems.
  • If you have breathing problems.
  • If you have any of the following: diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, depression, glaucoma, or myasthenia gravis (this is a condition causing muscle weakness).
  • If you have a condition called phaeochromocytoma (a tumour on your adrenal gland).
  • If you have porphyria (this is a rare blood disorder).
  • If you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes), or a blood disorder.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.

How to use paliperidone long-acting injection

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about paliperidone, and a full list of side-effects from it.
  • Paliperidone injection will be given to you by your doctor or nurse. It is given by injection into the muscle of your upper arm or buttock.
  • If you haven't received paliperidone injection before, you will initially be given a dose of 150 mg and then a dose of 100 mg a week later. From then on, you will need to have one injection each month. Your doctor will adjust the amount of paliperidone given to suit what is right for you.
  • You may be asked to continue taking your tablets for a short while after you have had your first injection. This is because it can take a few weeks before you feel the full effect of the injection.
  • If you miss an appointment for an injection, you should contact your doctor's surgery to make another appointment as soon as possible. This is because the injection should be given to you without further delay.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Your treatment will require careful monitoring to make sure that you get the best possible benefit from paliperidone. Keep your regular doctor's appointments so your progress can be checked.
  • Paliperidone may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA light and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, especially in strong sunlight or until you know how your skin reacts. Do not use sunbeds.
  • If you are having any dental treatment or an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking. This is important because paliperidone may interfere with any anaesthetic you receive.
  • If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with paliperidone.
  • If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about drinking while you are on paliperidone. Alcohol may increase the chance you experience side-effects and may not be recommended for you.
  • If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as paliperidone may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.

Can paliperidone cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Very common paliperidone injection side-effects - these affect more than 1 in 10 people using this medicine What can I do if I experience this?
Difficulties sleeping Discuss this with your doctor if it becomes troublesome
Headache Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Common paliperidone injection side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people using this medicine What can I do if I experience this?
Pain at the site of the injection This should quickly pass. If the area becomes red, swollen or 'lumpy', let your doctor know
Feeling dizzy, weak, tired or sleepy If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol as it will increase these effects
Feeling or being sick, abdominal discomfort Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy food
Diarrhoea Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. If this continues, let your doctor know
Constipation Drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced diet containing plenty of fruit and vegetables
Respiratory tract infections (coughs and colds), increases in weight, feeling agitated or shaky, fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, toothache, rash, aches and pains Discuss these with your doctor if any become troublesome

Important: if you experience 'flu-like' symptoms including muscle stiffness with a high temperature, confusion, a fast heartbeat and sweating, contact your doctor immediately. These may be signs of a rare but serious condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Important: if you experience abnormal face or body movements, restlessness, or any involuntary muscle movements, discuss these with your doctor as soon as possible.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store paliperidone

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.