Generic name: chlorpromazine (oral/injection) [ klor-PROE-ma-zeen ]
Brand names: Ormazine, Thorazine, Thorazine Spansule
Dosage forms: injectable solution (25 mg/mL), oral tablet (10 mg; 100 mg; 200 mg; 25 mg; 50 mg)
Drug classes: Phenothiazine antiemetics, Phenothiazine antipsychotics
What is chlorpromazine?
Chlorpromazine is a phenothiazine (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeen) that is used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia or manic-depression in adults.
Chlorpromazine is also used in adults to treat nausea and vomiting, anxiety before surgery, chronic hiccups, acute intermittent porphyria, and symptoms of tetanus.
In children ages 1 through 12 years, chlorpromazine is used to treat severe behavioral problems (such as combative or explosive behavior) or hyperactivity with excessive motor activity.
Chlorpromazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Call your doctor at once if you have uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs. These could be early signs of dangerous side effects.
Chlorpromazine is not approved for use in older adults with dementia-related psychosis.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use chlorpromazine if you are allergic to chlorpromazine or other phenothiazines (such as fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, promethazine, thioridazine, or trifluoperazine).
Do not use chlorpromazine if you have recently used large amounts of alcohol or medicine that makes you sleepy.
Chlorpromazine may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related psychosis and is not approved for this use.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
a sulfite allergy;
bone marrow suppression;
liver or kidney disease;
a blockage in your intestines;
a brain tumor; or
pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland).
Tell your doctor if you will be exposed to extreme heat, or to insecticide poisons while you are using chlorpromazine.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Talk with your doctor before giving chlorpromazine to a child who has been ill with a fever or flu symptoms.
Using antipsychotic medicine in the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause medical problems, breathing problems, feeding problems, or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop using your medicine during pregnancy. If you get pregnant, tell your doctor right away. Do not stop using chlorpromazine without your doctor's advice.
You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I use chlorpromazine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Chlorpromazine oral is taken by mouth.
Chlorpromazine injection is injected into a muscle, or given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
You may be asked to lie down for a short time after you receive a chlorpromazine injection. This medicine can lower your blood pressure and you may feel light-headed after an injection.
Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Your vision may also need to be checked.
This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using chlorpromazine.
If you need to have a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) or any type of x-ray scan or MRI of your spinal cord, tell the doctor ahead of time that you are using chlorpromazine.
Do not stop using chlorpromazine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include dry mouth, bloating or stomach cramps, feeling restless, fever, muscle stiffness, jerky muscle movements, changes in heart rate, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while using chlorpromazine?
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how chlorpromazine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.
Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Chlorpromazine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Chlorpromazine 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.
Long-term use of chlorpromazine can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. The longer you use chlorpromazine, the more likely you are to develop this disorder, especially if you are a an older adult.
Chlorpromazine may cause serious side effects. 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;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
confusion, agitation, feeling jittery, trouble sleeping;
breast swelling or discharge;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
low white blood cell counts--fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing, feeling light-headed; or
severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.
Some side effects may be more likely in older adults.
Common side effects of chlorpromazine may include:
dry mouth or stuffy nose;
impotence, trouble having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect chlorpromazine?
Using chlorpromazine with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Other drugs may affect chlorpromazine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
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