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Trihexyphenidyl

Generic Name: trihexyphenidyl (try hex ee FEH nih dill)
Brand Name: Artane, Trihexane

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Dec 15, 2017 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is trihexyphenidyl?

See also: Gocovri

Trihexyphenidyl alters unusual nerve impulses and relaxes stiff muscles.

Trihexyphenidyl is used to treat the stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control of Parkinson's disease. It is also used to treat and prevent the same muscular conditions when they are caused by drugs such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), perphenazine (Trilafon), haloperidol (Haldol), thiothixene (Navane), and others.

Trihexyphenidyl may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Trihexyphenidyl may cause dizziness or blurred vision. If you experience dizziness or blurred vision, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking trihexyphenidyl.

Avoid becoming overheated. Trihexyphenidyl may cause decreased sweating. This could lead to heat stroke in hot weather or with vigorous exercise.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use trihexyphenidyl without first talking to your doctor if you have

  • ever had an allergic reaction to it;

  • narrow-angle glaucoma;

  • an obstruction in the bowel or a complication of bowel disease known as megacolon; or

  • myasthenia gravis.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

It is not known whether trihexyphenidyl will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether trihexyphenidyl passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take trihexyphenidyl?

Take trihexyphenidyl exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Trihexyphenidyl may be taken with or without meals. Taking trihexyphenidyl with food may lessen stomach upset.

To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid form of trihexyphenidyl with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Store trihexyphenidyl at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a trihexyphenidyl overdose include large pupils; warm, dry skin; flushed face; fever; dry mouth; fast or irregular heartbeat; anxiety; hallucinations; confusion; agitation; hyperactivity; loss of consciousness; and seizures.

What should I avoid while taking trihexyphenidyl?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Trihexyphenidyl may cause dizziness or blurred vision. If you experience dizziness or blurred vision, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking trihexyphenidyl.

Avoid becoming overheated. Trihexyphenidyl may cause decreased sweating. This could lead to heat stroke in hot weather or with vigorous exercise. Try to keep as cool as possible and watch for signs of heat stroke such as decreased sweating, nausea, and dizziness.

Trihexyphenidyl side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking trihexyphenidyl and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • fever;

  • fast or irregular heartbeats;

  • anxiety, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, hyperactivity, or loss of consciousness;

  • seizures;

  • eye pain; or

  • a rash.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take trihexyphenidyl and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • dryness of the mouth;

  • large pupils or blurred vision;

  • drowsiness or dizziness;

  • difficulty urinating or constipation;

  • nervousness or anxiety;

  • upset stomach; or

  • decreased sweating.

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.

Trihexyphenidyl dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Extrapyramidal Reaction:

Initial dose: 1 mg orally once; if symptoms are not controlled in a few hours, additional doses should be provided until satisfactory control is achieved
Maintenance dose: 5 to 15 mg/day orally in divided doses; although some patients may benefit from 1 mg/day

Comments:
-Control of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) may be more rapidly achieved by temporarily reducing the dose of the responsible agent.
-After symptoms have been controlled for several days, it may be possible to reduce the dose of discontinue use; there are reports of EPS remaining in remission for long periods after this drug has been discontinued.

Use: For the control of extrapyramidal disorders caused by central nervous system drugs such as the dibenzoxazepines, phenothiazines, thioxanthenes, and butyrophenones.

Usual Adult Dose for Parkinson's Disease:

Initial dose: 1 mg orally once a day
-Titrate in 2 mg/day increments every 3 to 5 days
Maintenance dose: 6 to 10 mg orally in divided doses
Maximum dose: Some patients, particularly those with postencephalitic parkinsonism, may require 12 to 15 mg/day

Concomitant Use with Levodopa: 3 to 6 mg orally per day in divided doses
-When used concomitantly with levodopa, the dose of both drugs may need to be reduced
-Adjust doses based on side effects and symptom control

Comments:
-Doses should be individualized; start low and increase slowly, especially in elderly patients.
-The total daily dose may be better tolerated if given in divided doses; doses greater than 10 mg/day should be divided and given 4 times a day.
-The decision to dose before or after meals should be based on the needs of the patient; this drug does cause dry mouth and taking before meals may be beneficial, unless it causes nausea.

Use: For the adjunctive treatment of all forms of Parkinson's disease.

What other drugs will affect trihexyphenidyl?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

You may not be able to take trihexyphenidyl or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with trihexyphenidyl. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Further information

  • Your pharmacist has more information about trihexyphenidyl written for health professionals that you may read.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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