Chlorpromazine: Uses & Side Effects

Chlorpromazine is an anti-psychotic medication in a group of drugs called phenothiazines (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeens). It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain.

Chlorpromazine is used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia or manic-depression, and severe behavioral problems in children ages 1 through 12.

Chlorpromazine is also used to treat nausea and vomiting, anxiety before surgery, chronic hiccups, acute intermittent porphyria, and symptoms of tetanus.

Chlorpromazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How to take it

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take chlorpromazine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using chlorpromazine.

If you need to have any type of x-ray scan or MRI of your spinal cord, tell the doctor ahead of time that you are using chlorpromazine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Do not stop using chlorpromazine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using chlorpromazine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

High doses or long-term use of chlorpromazine can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. Symptoms of this disorder include uncontrollable muscle movements of your lips, tongue, eyes, face, arms, or legs. The longer you take chlorpromazine, the more likely you are to develop a serious movement disorder. The risk of this side effect is higher in women and older adults.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
  • stiffness in your neck, tightness in your throat, trouble breathing or swallowing;
  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • severe nervous system reaction–very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • breast swelling or discharge;
  • changes in menstrual periods;
  • dry mouth or stuffy nose, blurred vision;
  • constipation; or
  • impotence, trouble having an orgasm.

Keywords: Chlorpromazine

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