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Trifluoperazine

Pronunciation

Pronunciation

(trye floo oh PER a zeen)

Index Terms

  • Stelazine
  • Trifluoperazine HCl
  • Trifluoperazine Hydrochloride

Dosage Forms

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

Tablet, Oral:

Generic: 1 mg, 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg

Pharmacologic Category

  • First Generation (Typical) Antipsychotic
  • Phenothiazine Derivative

Pharmacology

Trifluoperazine is a piperazine phenothiazine antipsychotic which blocks dopamine, subtype 2 (D2), receptors in mesolimbocortical and nigrostriatal areas of the brain (APA [Lehman, 2004]).

Metabolism

Metabolized in the gut after administration and hepatically to active metabolites N-desmethyltrifluoperazine, 7-hydroxyrifluoperazine, and other metabolites (Midha 1984).

Onset of Action

For control of agitation, aggression, hostility: 2 to 4 weeks; For control of psychotic symptoms (hallucinations, disorganized thinking or behavior, delusions): Within 1 week; Adequate trial: 6 weeks at moderate to high dose based on tolerability

Time to Peak

Serum: 1.5 to 6 hours (Midha 1984)

Duration of Action

Variable

Half-Life Elimination

3 to 12 hours (Midha 1984)

Use: Labeled Indications

Nonpsychotic anxiety: Short-term treatment of generalized nonpsychotic anxiety.

Schizophrenia: Management of schizophrenia.

Use: Unlabeled

Behavioral symptoms associated with dementia behavior (elderly)

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to trifluoperazine, phenothiazines, or any component of the formulation; comatose or greatly depressed states due to CNS depressants; bone marrow suppression; blood dyscrasias; hepatic disease

Dosing: Adult

Nonpsychotic anxiety: Oral: 1 or 2 mg twice daily; titrate dose gradually based on response and tolerability; maximum: 6 mg/day; therapy for anxiety should not exceed 12 weeks; do not exceed 6 mg/day for longer than 12 weeks when treating anxiety because of risks for tardive dyskinesia

Schizophrenia: Oral: Initial: 2 to 5 mg twice daily; titrate dose gradually based on response and tolerability; usual dosage: 15 or 20 mg/day in divided doses although some patients may require up to 50 mg/day (APA [Lehman 2004])

Discontinuation of therapy: American Psychiatric Association (APA), Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA), and World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) guidelines recommend gradually tapering antipsychotics to avoid withdrawal symptoms and minimize the risk of relapse (APA [Lehman 2004]; Cerovecki 2013; CPA [Addington 2005]; WFSBP [Hasan 2012]); risk for withdrawal symptoms may be highest with highly anti-cholinergic or dopaminergic antipsychotics (Cerovecki 2013). When stopping antipsychotic therapy in patients with schizophrenia, the CPA guidelines recommend a gradual taper over 6 to 24 months, and the APA guidelines recommend reducing the dose by 10% each month (APA [Lehman 2004]; CPA [Addington 2005]). Continuing anti-parkinsonism agents for a brief period after discontinuation may prevent withdrawal symptoms (Cerovecki 2013). When switching antipsychotics, 3 strategies have been suggested: cross-titration (gradually discontinuing the first antipsychotic while gradually increasing the new antipsychotic), overlap and taper (maintaining the dose of the first antipsychotic while gradually increasing the new antipsychotic, then tapering the first antipsychotic), and abrupt change (abruptly discontinuing the first antipsychotic and either increasing the new antipsychotic gradually or starting it at a treatment dose). Evidence supporting ideal switch strategies and taper rates is limited, and results are conflicting (Cerovecki 2013; Remington 2005).

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing. Dose selection should start at the low end of the dosage range and titration must be gradual.

Psychosis/agitation associated with dementia (off-label use): Oral: Initial: One-third to one-half the usual dose to treat psychosis in younger adults or the smallest available dosage. In patients without a clinically significant response after 4 weeks, taper and withdraw therapy. In patients with an adequate response, attempt to taper and withdraw therapy within 4 months, unless symptoms recurred with a previous taper attempt. Assess symptoms at least monthly during taper and for at least 4 months after withdrawal of therapy (APA [Reus 2016]).

Dosing: Pediatric

Schizophrenia:

Children 6 to 12 years: Oral: Initial: 1 mg once or twice daily; titrate dose gradually based on response and tolerability. It is usually not necessary to exceed 15 mg/day; however, older children with severe symptoms may require higher doses.

Adolescents: Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling; use is contraindicated in patients with hepatic disease.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Protect from moisture and light

Drug Interactions

Abiraterone Acetate: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

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

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

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): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Avoid concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

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

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 decrease the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

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

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

Chlorphenesin Carbamate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines). Monitor therapy

Chlorphenesin Carbamate: May enhance the adverse/toxic 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

CYP1A2 Inducers (Strong): May increase the metabolism of CYP1A2 Substrates. Management: Consider an alternative for one of the interacting drugs. Some combinations may be specifically contraindicated. Consult appropriate manufacturer labeling. Consider therapy modification

CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Moderate): May decrease the metabolism of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Strong): May decrease the metabolism of CYP1A2 Substrates. Consider therapy modification

Cyproterone: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Deferasirox: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Dimethindene (Systemic): 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: Avoid concomitant use of hydrocodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

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

Lofexidine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. 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: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Methotrimeprazine. 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: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methylphenidate. 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

Nitroglycerin: Anticholinergic Agents may decrease the absorption of Nitroglycerin. Specifically, anticholinergic agents may decrease the dissolution of sublingual nitroglycerin tablets, possibly impairing or slowing nitroglycerin absorption. Avoid combination

Obeticholic Acid: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. 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: Avoid concomitant use of oxycodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

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

Peginterferon Alfa-2b: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 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

Piribedil [INT]: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Antipsychotic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Piribedil [INT]. 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

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

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

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: Avoid concomitant use of tapentadol and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Teriflunomide: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

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

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

Vemurafenib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Management: Consider alternatives to such combinations whenever possible, particularly if the CYP1A2 substrate has a relatively narrow therapeutic index. Consider therapy modification

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

Test Interactions

Phenothiazines may produce a false-positive for phenylketonuria

Adverse Reactions

Frequency not defined.

Cardiovascular: Cardiac arrest, hypotension, orthostatic hypotension

Central nervous system: Dizziness; extrapyramidal symptoms (akathisia, dystonias, pseudoparkinsonism, tardive dyskinesia); headache, impairment of temperature regulation, lowering of seizure threshold, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)

Dermatologic: Discoloration of skin (blue-gray), increased sensitivity to sun, photosensitivity, rash

Endocrine & metabolic: Breast pain, galactorrhea, gynecomastia, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, lactation, libido (changes in), menstrual cycle (changes in)

Gastrointestinal: Constipation, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, weight gain, xerostomia

Genitourinary: Difficulty in urination, ejaculatory disturbances, priapism, urinary retention

Hematologic: Agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, eosinophilia, hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura

Hepatic: Cholestatic jaundice, hepatotoxicity

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Tremor

Ocular: Cornea and lens changes, pigmentary retinopathy

Respiratory: 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 between 1.6 and 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 approximately 4.5%, compared to a rate of approximately 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. Trifluoperazine 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, trifluoperazine has a high potency of cholinergic blockade (Tardy 2014).

• Antiemetic effects: May mask toxicity of other drugs or conditions (eg, intestinal obstruction, Reye syndrome, brain tumor) due to antiemetic effects.

• Blood dyscrasias: Leukopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, agranulocytosis (sometimes fatal), and pancytopenia have been reported in clinical trials and postmarketing reports with antipsychotic use; presence of risk factors (eg, preexisting 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 <1,000/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, driving).

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

• Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS): May cause EPS, 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. Following recovery from NMS, reintroduction of drug therapy should be carefully considered; if an antipsychotic agent is resumed, monitor closely for NMS.

• Ocular effects: May cause pigmentary retinopathy, and lenticular and corneal deposits, particularly with prolonged therapy (Oshika 1995).

• 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) (APA [Lehman 2004]).

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

Disease-related concerns:

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with 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. Use with caution in patients with Lewy body dementia or Parkinson disease dementia due to greater risk of adverse effects, increased sensitivity to extrapyramidal effects, and association with irreversible cognitive decompensation or death. The APA recommends giving preference to second generation antipsychotics over first generation antipsychotics in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis due to a potentially greater risk of harm relative to second generation antipsychotics (APA [Reus 2016]). Trifluoperazine is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis.

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

• Hepatic impairment: Contraindicated in patients with hepatic disease.

• Parkinson disease: Use with caution in patients with Parkinson disease; antipsychotics may aggravate motor disturbances (APA [Lehman 2004]; APA [Reus 2016]).

• Seizure disorder: Use with caution in patients at risk of seizures, including those with a history of seizures; first-generation antipsychotics may lower the seizure threshold (APA [Lehman 2004]).

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:

• Elderly: Increased risk for developing tardive dyskinesia, particularly elderly women.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: Anxiety: Trifluoperazine is not the first drug of choice for most patients with nonpsychotic anxiety. Do not exceed recommended dose and duration; use of trifluoperazine at higher doses or for longer intervals may cause persistent tardive dyskinesia (may be irreversible).

• Discontinuation of therapy: When discontinuing antipsychotic therapy, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA), and World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) guidelines recommend gradually tapering antipsychotics to avoid physical withdrawal symptoms, including anorexia, anxiety, diaphoresis, diarrhea, dizziness, dyskinesia, headache, myalgia, nausea, paresthesia, restlessness, tremulousness, and vomiting (APA [Lehman 2004]; CPA [Addington 2005]; Lambert 2007; WFSBP [Hasan 2012]). The risk of withdrawal symptoms is highest following abrupt discontinuation of highly anti-cholinergic or dopaminergic antipsychotics (Cerovecki 2013). Additional factors such as duration of antipsychotic exposure, the indication for use, medication half-life, and risk for relapse should be considered. In schizophrenia, there is no reliable indicator to differentiate the minority who will not from the majority who will relapse with drug discontinuation. However, studies in which the medication of well-stabilized patients were discontinued indicate that 75% of patients relapse within 6 to 24 months. Indefinite maintenance antipsychotic medication is generally recommended, and especially for patients who have had multiple prior episodes or 2 episodes within 5 years (APA [Lehman 2004]).

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 pre-existing low WBC or history of drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia); electrolytes and liver function (annually and as clinically indicated); 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

Adverse events have not been observed in animal reproduction studies, except when using doses that were also maternally toxic. Prolonged jaundice, extrapyramidal signs, or hyporeflexia have been reported in newborn infants following maternal use of phenothiazines. Antipsychotic use during the third trimester of pregnancy has a risk for extrapyramidal and/or 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.

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 fatigue, constipation, dry mouth, 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), twitching, abnormal movements, change in balance, dysphagia, difficulty speaking, severe dizziness, passing out, mood changes, seizures, tremors, difficulty moving, rigidity, drooling, swelling of arms or legs, vision changes, involuntary eye movements, bruising, bleeding, severe anxiety, urinary retention, loss of strength and energy, enlarged breasts, nipple discharge, amenorrhea, sexual dysfunction, 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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