Generic Name: perphenazine (per-FEN-a-zeen)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.
Perphenazine is an antipsychotic. It may increase the risk of death when used to treat mental problems caused by dementia in elderly patients. Most of the deaths were linked to heart problems or infection. Perphenazine is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
Perphenazine is used for:
Treating schizophrenia. It may also be used to treat severe nausea and vomiting. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Perphenazine is a phenothiazine. It is not known exactly how it works.
Do NOT use perphenazine if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in perphenazine or to other phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine)
- you have certain types of brain damage
- you have severe drowsiness, blood problems, liver damage, or decreased bone marrow function
- you have recently taken large amounts of alcohol or medicines that may cause drowsiness, such as barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital) or narcotic pain medicines (eg, codeine)
- you are taking astemizole, cabergoline, cisapride, metoclopramide, pergolide, terfenadine, or tramadol
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using perphenazine:
Some medical conditions may interact with perphenazine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have developed severe side effects (eg, blood problems, yellowing of the skin or eyes) while taking another phenothiazine (eg, thioridazine)
- if you have a history of heart problems (eg, angina, mitral valve problems), high or low blood pressure, blood problems (eg, anemia), bone marrow problems (eg, low white blood cell count), diabetes, liver problems (eg, cirrhosis), kidney problems, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), tardive dyskinesia (TD), an enlarged prostate gland, seizures, trouble urinating, mental or mood problems (eg, depression), or an adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma)
- if you have asthma, a lung infection, or other lung or breathing problems (eg, emphysema); or increased pressure in the eyes or glaucoma, or if you are at risk for glaucoma
- if you have Alzheimer disease, dementia, Parkinson disease, or Reye syndrome
- if you have had high blood prolactin levels or a history of certain types of cancer (eg, breast, pancreas, pituitary, brain), or if you are at risk of breast cancer
- if you are in poor health or are regularly exposed to extreme heat or certain insecticides (organophosphorus insecticides)
- if you have a history of alcohol abuse, drink alcohol, or are in alcohol withdrawal
- if you take any medicine that may increase the risk of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase the risk of this type of irregular heartbeat
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with perphenazine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for allergies, blood clotting problems, cancer, infections, inflammation, aches and pains, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, irregular heartbeat, mental or mood problems, nausea or vomiting, Parkinson disease, seizures, stomach or bowel problems, overactive bladder), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, gingko, St. John's wort) may interact with perphenazine. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may interact with perphenazine
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if perphenazine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use perphenazine:
Use perphenazine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take perphenazine by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
- If you miss a dose of perphenazine and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use perphenazine.
Important safety information:
- Perphenazine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use perphenazine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are taking perphenazine.
- Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are taking perphenazine; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Perphenazine may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Perphenazine may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to perphenazine. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Do not become overheated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
- Perphenazine may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by perphenazine. Symptoms may include fever; stiff muscles; confusion; abnormal thinking; fast or irregular heartbeat; and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
- Some patients who take perphenazine may develop muscle movements that they cannot control. This is more likely to happen in elderly patients, especially women. The chance that this will happen or that it will become permanent is greater in those who take perphenazine in higher doses or for a long time. Muscle problems may also occur after short-term treatment with low doses. Tell your doctor at once if you have muscle problems with your arms; legs; or your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw (eg, tongue sticking out, puffing of cheeks, mouth puckering, chewing movements) while taking perphenazine.
- Perphenazine may increase the amount of a certain hormone (prolactin) in your blood. Symptoms may include enlarged breasts, missed menstrual period, decreased sexual ability, or nipple discharge. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take perphenazine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Diabetes patients - Perphenazine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Perphenazine may cause the results of some pregnancy tests to be wrong. Check with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy test results
- Perphenazine may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking perphenazine.
- Lab tests, including liver and kidney function tests, complete blood cell counts, and eye exams, may be performed while you take perphenazine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use perphenazine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion; constipation; dizziness or light-headedness, especially upon standing; drowsiness; fainting; trouble urinating; and uncontrolled muscle movements.
- Perphenazine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking perphenazine while you are pregnant. Taking perphenazine during the third trimester may result in uncontrolled muscle movements or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Perphenazine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use perphenazine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby
If you stop taking perphenazine suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, tremors, and vomiting.
Possible side effects of perphenazine:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; enlarged pupils; headache; jitteriness; loss of appetite; nausea; stuffy nose; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest or throat; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness; wheezing); chest pain; confusion; decreased coordination; drooling; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; mask-like face; muscle spasms of face, neck, or back; muscle weakness; new or worsening mental or mood problems; numbness of the arms and legs; prolonged or painful erection; restlessness; seizures; severe or persistent constipation; severe or persistent dizziness, drowsiness, or headache; shuffling walk; sleeplessness; stiff or rigid muscles; sudden shortness of breath or vomiting; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; symptoms of infection (eg, chills, fever, or persistent sore throat); symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, stomach pain, or loss of appetite; yellowing of the skin or eyes); tremor; trouble urinating; twitching or twisting movements; uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, loss of balance; trouble speaking, breathing, or swallowing; twitching of the face or tongue; uncontrolled movements of arms or legs); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual eye movements or inability to move your eyes; unusual or excessive sweating; unusual tiredness or weakness; unusually pale skin; vision changes (eg, blurred vision)
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; coma; confusion; difficulty breathing; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; loss of consciousness; muscle spasms or uncontrolled muscle movements; restlessness; seizures; severe constipation or stomach pain; severe drowsiness or dizziness; tremors; or trouble urinating.Proper storage of perphenazine:
Store perphenazine at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep perphenazine out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about perphenazine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Perphenazine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take perphenazine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about perphenazine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to perphenazine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using perphenazine.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about perphenazine
- Other brands: Trilafon