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FluPHENAZine

Pronunciation

Pronunciation

(floo FEN a zeen)

Index Terms

  • Fluphenazine Decanoate
  • Fluphenazine HCl
  • Fluphenazine Hydrochloride
  • Prolixin

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Concentrate, Oral, as hydrochloride:

Generic: 5 mg/mL (120 mL)

Elixir, Oral, as hydrochloride:

Generic: 2.5 mg/5 mL (60 mL, 473 mL)

Solution, Injection, as decanoate:

Generic: 25 mg/mL (5 mL)

Solution, Injection, as hydrochloride:

Generic: 2.5 mg/mL (10 mL)

Tablet, Oral, as hydrochloride:

Generic: 1 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg

Pharmacologic Category

  • First Generation (Typical) Antipsychotic
  • Phenothiazine Derivative

Pharmacology

Fluphenazine is a piperazine phenothiazine antipsychotic which blocks nonselectively postsynaptic mesolimbic dopaminergic D2 receptors in the brain (Risch 1996); fluphenazine has limited activity on histaminergic, muscarinic and alpha receptors (Richelson 1999)

Onset of Action

Decanoate: 24 to 72 hours; Peak effect: Decanoate: 48 to 96 hours

Time to Peak

Serum: Hydrochloride: Oral: 2.8 hours (Koytchev 1996); Decanoate: 8 to 10 hours (Altamura 2003)

Duration of Action

Decanoate: ~4 weeks

Half-Life Elimination

Derivative dependent: Hydrochloride: Oral: 14.4 to 16.4 hours (Dysken 1981; Koytchev 1996); Decanoate: ~14 days (Altamura 2003)

Use: Labeled Indications

Psychotic disorders: For the management of manifestations of psychotic disorders; decanoate injection is intended for use in the management of patients requiring prolonged therapy.

Limitations of use: Fluphenazine has not been shown to be effective in the management of behavioral complications in patients with mental retardation.

Use: Unlabeled

Huntington's disease; Mania; Tourette's syndrome

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to fluphenazine or any component of the formulation (cross-reactivity between phenothiazines may occur); severe CNS depression; coma; subcortical brain damage; in patients receiving large doses of hypnotics; blood dyscrasias; hepatic disease; children <12 years of age (fluphenazine decanoate only)

Dosing: Adult

Psychosis:

Oral: Initial: 2.5 to 10 mg/day in 3 or 4 divided doses; Maintenance: 1 to 5 mg/day (may be given as a daily dose); Note: Some patients may require up to 40 mg/day for symptom control (long-term safety of higher doses not established)

PORT guidelines: Acute therapy: 6 to 20 mg/day for up to 6 weeks; Maintenance: 6 to 12 mg/day (Buchanan, 2009)

IM (hydrochloride): Initial: 1.25 mg as a single dose; depending on severity and duration, may need 2.5 to 10 mg/day in divided doses at 6- to 8-hour intervals (IM fluphenazine HCl is approximately equivalent to 33% to 50% of the oral fluphenazine HCl dose); use caution with doses >10 mg/day; once symptoms stabilized, transition to oral maintenance therapy

Long-acting maintenance injections (decanoate): Prior to initiation consider establishing response, the appropriate dose and tolerability with a short-acting form of fluphenazine.

IM, SubQ (decanoate): Initial: 12.5 to 25 mg every 3 to 4 weeks; response may last up to 6 weeks in some patients; titrate dose cautiously, if doses >50 mg are needed, increase in 12.5 mg increments (maximum dose: 100 mg)

Conversion from hydrochloride dosage forms to decanoate IM: 12.5 mg of decanoate every 3 weeks is approximately equivalent to 10 mg of oral hydrochloride/day

PORT guidelines: 6.25 to 25 mg every 2 weeks (Buchanan, 2009)

Note: Decrease the oral fluphenazine (or current antipsychotic) dose by half after the initial injection; consider discontinuation of oral therapy after second injection (McEvoy, 2006).

Dosing: Geriatric

Oral: Initial: 1 to 2.5 mg daily; titrated gradually based on patient response.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use with caution.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

Use is contraindicated by manufacturer in patients with hepatic impairment.

Administration

IM: The hydrochloride or decanoate formulation may be administered intramuscularly. Monitor for hypotension.

Solution, injection, as decanoate: Use a dry syringe and needle of ≥21 gauge to administer fluphenazine decanoate; a wet needle/syringe may cause the solution to become cloudy. Z-track injection techniques are recommended to limit leakage after injections (Baweja, 2012; Gillespie, 2013; McEvoy, 2006). Experts recommend administering in the gluteal muscle by deep IM injection, however fluphenazine by deltoid injection has been studied (Baweja 2012; Gillespie 2013; Glazer 1992; Yasuhara 2012).

Oral: Oral liquid concentrate should be diluted immediately prior to administration to ensure palatability and stability. Dilute in at least 60 mL (2 fl oz) of milk, uncaffeinated soft drinks, tomato juice, or fruit juices. Do not dilute in beverages containing caffeine (coffee, cola), tannics (tea), or pectinate (apple juice).

SubQ: Only the decanoate formulation may be administered subcutaneously. Use a dry syringe and needle of ≥21 gauge to administer the fluphenazine decanoate; a wet needle/syringe may cause the solution to become cloudy.

Storage

Store at 20°C and 25°C (68°F and 77°F). Protect all dosage forms from light. Diluted oral solutions must be administered immediately after mixing. Injection solutions may vary from clear to light amber; do not use if darker or discolored.

Drug Interactions

Abiraterone Acetate: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Management: Avoid concurrent use of abiraterone with CYP2D6 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index whenever possible. When concurrent use is not avoidable, monitor patients closely for signs/symptoms of toxicity. Consider therapy modification

AbobotulinumtoxinA: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of AbobotulinumtoxinA. Monitor therapy

Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors. Monitor therapy

Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors (Central): May enhance the neurotoxic (central) effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Severe extrapyramidal symptoms have occurred in some patients. Monitor therapy

Aclidinium: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Avoid combination

Ajmaline: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Alcohol (Ethyl): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Alcohol (Ethyl). Monitor therapy

Aminolevulinic Acid: Photosensitizing Agents may enhance the photosensitizing effect of Aminolevulinic Acid. Monitor therapy

Amisulpride: Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Amisulpride. Avoid combination

Amphetamines: Antipsychotic Agents may diminish the stimulatory effect of Amphetamines. Monitor therapy

Analgesics (Opioid): Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines) may enhance the hypotensive effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Monitor therapy

Analgesics (Opioid): Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Specifically, the risk for constipation and urinary retention may be increased with this combination. Monitor therapy

Antacids: May decrease the absorption of Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines). Monitor therapy

Anticholinergic Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Anticholinergic Agents. Monitor therapy

Antidepressants (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor/Antagonist): Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antidepressants (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor/Antagonist). Specifically, this may be manifest as symptoms consistent with serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Antidepressants (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor/Antagonist) may enhance the hypotensive effect of Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines). Monitor therapy

Antimalarial Agents: May increase the serum concentration of Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines). Monitor therapy

Anti-Parkinson Agents (Dopamine Agonist): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antipsychotic Agents (First Generation [Typical]). Antipsychotic Agents (First Generation [Typical]) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Anti-Parkinson Agents (Dopamine Agonist). Management: Avoid concomitant therapy if possible and monitor for decreased effects of both agents when these combinations cannot be avoided. Atypical antipsychotics such as clozapine and quetiapine may be less likely to reduce the effects of anti-Parkinson agents. Consider therapy modification

Asunaprevir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Consider therapy modification

Azelastine (Nasal): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Azelastine (Nasal). Avoid combination

Beta-Blockers: Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines) may enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Beta-Blockers may decrease the metabolism of Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines). Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines) may decrease the metabolism of Beta-Blockers. Exceptions: Atenolol; Levobunolol; Metipranolol; Nadolol. Monitor therapy

Blonanserin: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Blonanserin. Consider therapy modification

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Buprenorphine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Buprenorphine. Management: Consider reduced doses of other CNS depressants, and avoiding such drugs in patients at high risk of buprenorphine overuse/self-injection. Initiate buprenorphine patches (Butrans brand) at 5 mcg/hr in adults when used with other CNS depressants. Consider therapy modification

Cannabis: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Cimetropium: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of Cimetropium. Avoid combination

CNS Depressants: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Cobicistat: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Moderate): May decrease the metabolism of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Strong): May decrease the metabolism of CYP2D6 Substrates. Consider therapy modification

Darunavir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Dimethindene: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Doxylamine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: The manufacturer of Diclegis (doxylamine/pyridoxine), intended for use in pregnancy, specifically states that use with other CNS depressants is not recommended. Monitor therapy

Dronabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Dronedarone: Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines) may enhance the arrhythmogenic effect of Dronedarone. Avoid combination

Droperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider dose reductions of droperidol or of other CNS agents (e.g., opioids, barbiturates) with concomitant use. Consider therapy modification

Eluxadoline: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the constipating effect of Eluxadoline. Avoid combination

Flunitrazepam: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Flunitrazepam. Consider therapy modification

Gastrointestinal Agents (Prokinetic): Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Gastrointestinal Agents (Prokinetic). Monitor therapy

Glucagon: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Glucagon. Specifically, the risk of gastrointestinal adverse effects may be increased. Avoid combination

Glycopyrrolate (Oral Inhalation): Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of Glycopyrrolate (Oral Inhalation). Avoid combination

HYDROcodone: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of HYDROcodone. Management: Consider starting with a 20% to 30% lower hydrocodone dose when using together with any other CNS depressant. Dose reductions in the other CNS depressant may also be warranted. Consider therapy modification

HydrOXYzine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Imatinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Ipratropium (Oral Inhalation): May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Avoid combination

Itopride: Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Itopride. Monitor therapy

Kava Kava: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Levosulpiride: Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Levosulpiride. Avoid combination

Lithium: May enhance the neurotoxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Lithium may decrease the serum concentration of Antipsychotic Agents. Specifically noted with chlorpromazine. Monitor therapy

Lumefantrine: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Magnesium Sulfate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mequitazine: Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the arrhythmogenic effect of Mequitazine. Management: Consider alternatives to one of these agents when possible. While this combination is not specifically contraindicated, mequitazine labeling describes this combination as discouraged. Consider therapy modification

Methotrimeprazine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Methotrimeprazine. Methotrimeprazine may enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Reduce adult dose of CNS depressant agents by 50% with initiation of concomitant methotrimeprazine therapy. Further CNS depressant dosage adjustments should be initiated only after clinically effective methotrimeprazine dose is established. Consider therapy modification

Methylphenidate: Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methylphenidate. Methylphenidate may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Monitor therapy

Metoclopramide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Avoid combination

MetyroSINE: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of MetyroSINE. Monitor therapy

MetyroSINE: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Monitor therapy

Mianserin: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Monitor therapy

Minocycline: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mirabegron: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Mirabegron. Monitor therapy

Mirtazapine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Mirtazapine. Monitor therapy

Nabilone: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

OnabotulinumtoxinA: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of OnabotulinumtoxinA. Monitor therapy

Orphenadrine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Orphenadrine. Avoid combination

Oxatomide: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Avoid combination

OxyCODONE: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of OxyCODONE. Management: When oxycodone is combined with another CNS depressant, a dose reduction of one or both agents should be considered. The extended release oxycodone starting dose should be reduced 50% to 67% when initiated in patients already receiving CNS depressants. Consider therapy modification

Panobinostat: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Management: Avoid concurrent use of sensitive CYP2D6 substrates when possible, particularly those substrates with a narrow therapeutic index. Consider therapy modification

Paraldehyde: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Paraldehyde. Avoid combination

Peginterferon Alfa-2b: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Peginterferon Alfa-2b may increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Perampanel: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Patients taking perampanel with any other drug that has CNS depressant activities should avoid complex and high-risk activities, particularly those such as driving that require alertness and coordination, until they have experience using the combination. Consider therapy modification

Perhexiline: CYP2D6 Substrates may increase the serum concentration of Perhexiline. Perhexiline may increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Piribedil [INT]: Antipsychotic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Piribedil [INT]. Piribedil [INT] may diminish the therapeutic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Management: Use of piribedil with antiemetic neuroleptics is contraindicated, and use with antipsychotic neuroleptics, except for clozapine, is not recommended. Avoid combination

Porfimer: Photosensitizing Agents may enhance the photosensitizing effect of Porfimer. Monitor therapy

Potassium Chloride: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the ulcerogenic effect of Potassium Chloride. Management: Patients on drugs with substantial anticholinergic effects should avoid using any solid oral dosage form of potassium chloride. Avoid combination

Pramlintide: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. These effects are specific to the GI tract. Consider therapy modification

Quinagolide: Antipsychotic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Quinagolide. Monitor therapy

QuiNINE: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Ramosetron: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the constipating effect of Ramosetron. Monitor therapy

RimabotulinumtoxinB: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of RimabotulinumtoxinB. Monitor therapy

Rufinamide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Specifically, sleepiness and dizziness may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Secretin: Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Secretin. Management: Avoid using drugs with substantial anticholinergic effects in patients receiving secretin whenever possible. If such agents must be used in combination, monitor closely for a diminished response to secretin. Consider therapy modification

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: CNS Depressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Specifically, the risk of psychomotor impairment may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Serotonin Modulators: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Specifically, serotonin modulators may enhance dopamine blockade, possibly increasing the risk for neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Exceptions: Nicergoline. Monitor therapy

Sodium Oxybate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider alternatives to combined use. When combined use is needed, consider minimizing doses of one or more drugs. Use of sodium oxybate with alcohol or sedative hypnotics is contraindicated. Consider therapy modification

Sulpiride: Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Sulpiride. Avoid combination

Suvorexant: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Suvorexant. Management: Dose reduction of suvorexant and/or any other CNS depressant may be necessary. Use of suvorexant with alcohol is not recommended, and the use of suvorexant with any other drug to treat insomnia is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Tapentadol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Start tapentadol at a dose of one-third to one-half of the normal dose if being initiated in a patient who is taking another drug with CNS depressant effects. Monitor closely for evidence of excessive CNS depression. Consider therapy modification

Tetrabenazine: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Monitor therapy

Tetrahydrocannabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Thalidomide: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Thalidomide. Avoid combination

Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: Anticholinergic Agents may increase the serum concentration of Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics. Monitor therapy

Thiopental: Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Thiopental. Monitor therapy

Tiotropium: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of Tiotropium. Avoid combination

TiZANidine: CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of TiZANidine. Management: Avoid these combinations when possible. If combined use cannot be avoided, initiate tizanidine at an adult dose of 2 mg and increase in 2-4 mg increments based on patient response. Monitor for increased effects of tizanidine, including adverse reactions. Consider therapy modification

Topiramate: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Topiramate. Monitor therapy

Trimeprazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Umeclidinium: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Avoid combination

Verteporfin: Photosensitizing Agents may enhance the photosensitizing effect of Verteporfin. Monitor therapy

Zolpidem: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Zolpidem. Management: Reduce the Intermezzo brand sublingual zolpidem adult dose to 1.75 mg for men who are also receiving other CNS depressants. No such dose change is recommended for women. Avoid use with other CNS depressants at bedtime; avoid use with alcohol. Consider therapy modification

Adverse Reactions

Frequency not defined.

Cardiovascular: Cardiac arrhythmia, edema, hypertension, hypotension, tachycardia, variable blood pressure

Central nervous system: Akathisia, bizarre dream, cerebral edema, depression, disruption of body temperature regulation, dizziness, drowsiness, dystonia, EEG pattern changes, excitement, headache, hyperreflexia, lethargy, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, Parkinsonian-like syndrome, restlessness, seizure, tardive dyskinesia

Dermatologic: Dermatitis, eczema, erythema, pruritus, seborrhea, skin photosensitivity, skin pigmentation, skin rash, urticaria

Endocrine & metabolic: Amenorrhea, change in libido, galactorrhea, gynecomastia, increased serum prolactin, menstrual disease, SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion), weight gain

Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, constipation, paralytic ileus, salivation, xerostomia

Genitourinary: Bladder paralysis, ejaculatory disorder, impotence, mastalgia, urinary incontinence

Hematologic & oncologic: Agranulocytosis, eosinophilia, leukopenia, nonthrombocytopenic purpura, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia

Hepatic: Cholestatic jaundice, hepatotoxicity

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Hemifacial spasm, systemic lupus erythematosus, tremor (fingers)

Ophthalmic: Blurred vision, corneal changes, glaucoma, lens disease, retinitis pigmentosa

Renal: Polyuria

Respiratory: Asthma, laryngeal edema, nasal congestion

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Increased mortality in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis:

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of 17 placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5% compared with a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (eg, heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (eg, pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. Fluphenazine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Altered cardiac conduction: May alter cardiac conduction (life-threatening arrhythmias have occurred with therapeutic doses of antipsychotics) (Haddad 2002; Stollberger 2005).

• Anticholinergic effects: May cause anticholinergic effects (constipation, xerostomia, blurred vision, urinary retention); use with caution in patients with decreased gastrointestinal motility, paralytic ileus, urinary retention, BPH, xerostomia, or visual problems. Relative to other antipsychotics, fluphenazine has a low potency of cholinergic blockade (Richelson 1999).

• Blood dyscrasias: Leukopenia, neutropenia, and agranulocytosis (sometimes fatal) have been reported in clinical trials and postmarketing reports with antipsychotic use; presence of risk factors (eg, pre-existing low WBC or history of drug-induced leuko-/neutropenia) should prompt periodic blood count assessment. Discontinue therapy at first signs of blood dyscrasias or if absolute neutrophil count <1000/mm3.

• CNS depression: May cause CNS depression, which may impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks that require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery or driving).

• Esophageal dysmotility/aspiration: Antipsychotic use has been associated with esophageal dysmotility and aspiration; use with caution in patients at risk of pneumonia (ie, Alzheimer's disease) (Maddalena 2004).

• Extrapyramidal symptoms: Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS): May cause extrapyramidal symptoms, including pseudoparkinsonism, acute dystonic reactions, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia. Risk of dystonia (and possibly other EPS) may be greater with increased doses, use of conventional antipsychotics, males, and younger patients. Factors associated with greater vulnerability to tardive dyskinesia include older in age, female gender combined with postmenopausal status, Parkinson disease, pseudoparkinsonism symptoms, affective disorders (particularly major depressive disorder), concurrent medical diseases such as diabetes, previous brain damage, alcoholism, poor treatment response, and use of high doses of antipsychotics (APA [Lehman 2004]; Soares-Weiser 2007). Consider therapy discontinuation with signs/symptoms of tardive dyskinesia.

• Hepatic effects: Liver damage and jaundice of the cholestatic type of hepatitis have been reported with use.

• Hyperprolactinemia: Use associated with increased prolactin levels; clinical significance of hyperprolactinemia in patients with breast cancer or other prolactin-dependent tumors is unknown.

• Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): May be associated with NMS; monitor for mental status changes, fever, muscle rigidity, and/or autonomic instability.

• Ocular effects: May cause pigmentary retinopathy, and lenticular and corneal deposits, particularly with prolonged therapy.

• Orthostatic hypotension: May cause orthostatic hypotension; use with caution in patients at risk of this effect or in those who would not tolerate transient hypotensive episodes (cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, hypovolemia, or concurrent medication use which may predispose to hypotension/bradycardia).

• Temperature regulation: Impaired core body temperature regulation may occur; caution with strenuous exercise, heat exposure, dehydration, and concomitant medication possessing anticholinergic effects (Kwok 2005; Martinez 2002).

Disease-related concerns:

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with severe cardiovascular disease.

• Dementia: [US Boxed Warning]: Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotics are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. Most deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (eg, heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (eg, pneumonia) in nature. Fluphenazine is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis.

• Glaucoma: Use with caution in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma; condition may be exacerbated by cholinergic blockade.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; use is contraindicated in patients with liver damage.

• Parkinson disease: Use with caution in patients with Parkinson's disease; they may be more sensitive to adverse effects (APA [Lehman 2004]).

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment; discontinue therapy if BUN abnormal.

• Seizure disorder: Use with caution in patients with a history of seizures.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.

Special populations:

• Geriatric: Increased risk for developing tardive dyskinesia, particularly geriatric women.

Dosage form specific issues:

• Benzyl alcohol and derivatives: Some dosage forms may contain benzyl alcohol; large amounts of benzyl alcohol (≥99 mg/kg/day) have been associated with a potentially fatal toxicity ("gasping syndrome") in neonates; the "gasping syndrome" consists of metabolic acidosis, respiratory distress, gasping respirations, CNS dysfunction (including convulsions, intracranial hemorrhage), hypotension and cardiovascular collapse (AAP 1997; CDC 1982); some data suggests that benzoate displaces bilirubin from protein binding sites (Ahlfors 2001); avoid or use dosage forms containing benzyl alcohol with caution in neonates. See manufacturer's labeling.

Monitoring Parameters

Mental status; vital signs (as clinically indicated); weight, height, BMI, waist circumference (baseline; at every visit for the first 6 months; quarterly with stable antipsychotic dose); CBC (as clinically indicated; monitor frequently during the first few months of therapy in patients with preexisting low WBC or history of drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia); electrolytes, renal and liver function (annually and as clinically indicated; if BUN becomes abnormal discontinue treatment); fasting plasma glucose level/HbA1c (baseline, then yearly; in patients with diabetes risk factors or if gaining weight, repeat 4 months after starting antipsychotic, then yearly); lipid panel (baseline; repeat every 2 years if LDL level is normal; repeat every 6 months if LDL level is >130 mg/dL); changes in menstruation, libido, development of galactorrhea, erectile and ejaculatory function (at each visit for the first 12 weeks after the antipsychotic is initiated or until the dose is stable, then yearly); abnormal involuntary movements or parkinsonian signs (baseline; repeat weekly until dose stabilized for at least 2 weeks after introduction and for 2 weeks after any significant dose increase); tardive dyskinesia (every 6 months; high-risk patients every 3 months); visual changes (inquire yearly); ocular examination (yearly in patients >40 years; every 2 years in younger patients) (ADA, 2004; Lehman, 2004; Marder, 2004).

Pregnancy Considerations

Antipsychotic use during the third trimester of pregnancy has a risk for abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal symptoms [EPS]) and withdrawal symptoms in newborns following delivery. Symptoms in the newborn may include agitation, feeding disorder, hypertonia, hypotonia, respiratory distress, somnolence, and tremor; these effects may be self-limiting or require hospitalization. The ACOG recommends that therapy during pregnancy be individualized; treatment with psychiatric medications during pregnancy should incorporate the clinical expertise of the mental health clinician, obstetrician, primary healthcare provider, and pediatrician (ACOG 2008).

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience anxiety, agitation, nightmares, constipation, nausea, dry mouth, fatigue, or lack of appetite. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of infection, signs of liver problems (dark urine, feeling tired, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or yellow skin or eyes), severe dizziness; passing out, severe headache, angina, shortness of breath, dysphagia, difficulty speaking, twitching, change in balance, drooling, seizures, swelling of hands or feet; vision changes, involuntary eye movements, bruising, bleeding, urinary retention, change in amount of urine passed, loss of strength and energy, enlarged breasts, sexual dysfunction, amenorrhea, severe diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, signs of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, abnormal heartbeat, or sweating a lot), or signs of tardive dyskinesia (unable to control body movements; tongue, face, mouth or jaw sticking out; mouth puckering; and puffing cheeks) (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating and advising patients.

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