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Clozapine Clinic – West Cumbria Community Treatment Team – Patient information leaflet

This leaflet is relevant to the following clinic: Clozapine Clinic, West Cumbria Community Treatment Team. Located at Valley View, West Cumberland Hospital, Hensingham, Whitehaven, CA28 8JG

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  • Who is this leaflet for?

    This leaflet is for people who are attending the Clozapine Clinic. It aims to describe what you can expect from the clinic.

    You will already have a care plan which has been developed by you and your care co-ordinator in the West Cumbria Community Treatment Team.

    You should tell your prescribing doctor of any other medications you are currently taking

  • What is a Clozapine Clinic?

    It is a regular clinic for the monitoring of Clozapine therapy, which involves taking a blood sample and checking for side-effects and any physical health problems. This may include blood pressure, pulse, temperature check and possibly an ECG.

  • When is the clinic held?

    The Clozapine Clinic is held every Wednesday between 8.30am and 4pm.

  • Interpreters

    Staff can arrange an interpreter if you need one.

  • Where are we?

    Valley View is based on the West Cumberland Hospital site adjacent to the patient and staff parking (three tier). The telephone number is: 01946 853 350.

  • West Cumbria Community Treatment Team’s main office is located at:

    Lillyhall Business Centre, Jubilee Road, Workington, CA14 4HA

  • What is Clozapine?

    Clozapine (brand name Denzapine currently used within Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust) is an antipsychotic drug used in the treatment of people with schizophrenia. It can reduce unpleasant symptoms such as hearing voices, having strange and frightening thoughts and experiencing worrying changes in your behaviour. It should only be used when at least two other drug treatments have not worked, or side effects of other medications have not been tolerated.

    Clozapine interacts with receptors in the brain, which control the activity of chemical messages. These receptors are overactive in people with schizophrenia and Clozapine decreases their activity.

    Clozapine tablets do not have any special storage requirements.

  • Are there any side effects of Clozapine?

    Some common side effects are feeling sleepy or drowsy, producing extra saliva (spit) and dribbling (alternatively, you may notice a dry mouth), loss of appetite and constipation. It is important to remember that everyone is different so may react differently to medication.

    You should let clinic staff know of any side effects you are experiencing. You will be asked about side effects by the staff when you attend for bloods to be taken. If at any time you are concerned about any of the side effects we have mentioned please contact your care co-ordinator or the teams duty worker on 01946 853 350.

  • Why is Clozapine only used in a restricted group of people?

    Clozapine is a proven, effective treatment, but it can occasionally reduce the number of white blood cells in your body, which are responsible for fighting infection. These are called neutrophils and a fall in the number of these cells can lead to a condition called neutropenia. The blood tests you will have while you are taking Clozapine are required to check the number of white blood cells in order to detect any changes early before they cause problems. You will not be allowed to receive Clozapine unless you have an up-to-date blood result.

    If the cell levels are very low, you may be at risk of developing a very serious infection. Please refer to the leaflet “Your Journey with Denzapine suspension and tablets’’ for further information regarding.

  • Why has Clozapine been prescribed for me?

    Clozapine can help to reduce unpleasant symptoms such as hearing voices, having strange and frightening thoughts and experiencing worrying changes in your behaviour. It can help those people for whom other medication has not been fully effective.

  • What happens when I attend the Clozapine Clinic?

    A blood sample is taken by one of our staff. This is usually processed by a blood analysis machine sited in the clinic. This result is forwarded electronically to the Denzapine Patient Monitoring Service (DMS) and categorised using a traffic light system - Green - Amber - Red.

    If the result is:
    Green, your medication, which is pre-dispensed by our pharmacy department, will usually be given to you at the clinic by the nurse in charge.
    • An Amber result means you may be given your medication but asked to return to the department for additional blood checks until a green result is obtained.
    • A Red result means you would have to stop taking Clozapine immediately and again attend for additional blood tests until the result returns to green.

    The clinic staff will advise you of any abnormal results.

    You will need to inform the staff at any time if you have a high temperature as this may indicate an infection, which will require further investigation.

    If, at any time, you find you have more than a week’s Clozapine medication at the time of your blood test appointment, please give this to the nurse in charge or your care co-ordinator.

    Your visit to the clinic should take no more than 30 minutes. However, during busy periods you may have to wait a little longer than this.

  • What happens if I miss a blood test?

    If you miss an appointment at the clinic you will miss your blood test. If we do not have a blood test result you will not be provided with your next prescription. You will be given enough medication to last until your next appointment. If you miss your appointment it is likely that you will run out of medication. It is extremely important to contact the Physical Treatment Team as soon as possible to arrange another appointment to avoid discontinuation of your medication.

    If you stop taking your medication for 48 hours or more, you must contact your nurse or care co-ordinator immediately as you will require a review prior to continuing your treatment.

  • What if I want more information?

    If you have any questions about your medication, please talk to your care co-ordinator on 01946 853 350, nurse at the clozapine clinic, or one of our pharmacists at Carleton Clinic on 01228 602 006. If you explain what your query is, they will either be able to help you themselves, or will let you know who can give you the information.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website www.cntw.nhs.uk (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email complaints@cntw.nhs.uk Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    - the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at www.cntw.nhs.uk/poy
    - complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • References

    • ‘Your journey with Denzapine suspension and tablets’, Britannia Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre

    2021 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/850/0521 May 2021 V1
    www.cntw.nhs.uk Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2024