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Fluphenazine Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of fluphenazine include: depression. Other side effects include: dystonic reaction, cataract, corneal deposits, corneal opacity, pigment deposits on lens, retinitis pigmentosa, akathisia, blurred vision, drowsiness, extrapyramidal reaction, involuntary choreoathetoid movements, lethargy, nasal congestion, protrusion of the tongue, vermiform tongue movements, dysphagia, dysphasia, muscle spasm, tremor, sucking movements of the mouth, and pallor. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to fluphenazine: oral elixir, oral solution concentrate, oral tablets, parenteral injection

Side effects include:

Extrapyramidal reactions (e.g., pseudo-parkinsonism, dystonia, dyskinesia, akathisia, oculogyric crises, opisthotonos, hyperreflexia), drowsiness, lethargy, weight gain.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to fluphenazine: injectable solution, oral concentrate, oral elixir, oral tablet


The most commonly reported side effects include extrapyramidal symptoms (e.g., pseudoparkinsonism, dystonia, dyskinesia).[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Blood dyscrasias
Frequency not reported: Transient leukopenia/leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, leukocytosis, agranulocytosis/fatal agranulocytosis, cellular depression, eosinophilia, pancytopenia, aplastic/hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenic or nonthrombocytopenic purpura[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Increased serum cholesterol
Frequency not reported: Hyponatremia, loss of appetite, weight changes, blood glucose level alterations and loss of diabetic control[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Jaundice
Frequency not reported: Cholestatic jaundice, hepatitis, increased cephalin flocculation and transient liver function test abnormalities (in the absence of jaundice)[Ref]


Acute, distressing muscle spasms usually occurred within 24 hours of injection, and required immediate administration of an anticholinergic agent.[Ref]

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Systemic lupus erythematosus
Frequency not reported: Muscular rigidity, altered creatine phosphokinase, acute, distressing muscle spasms in the face, neck, eyes, tongue, and back[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Antinuclear antibodies[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Opisthotonos, parkinsonism, pseudoparkinsonism/parkinsonian-like states, dyskinesia, tardive dyskinesia, drowsiness, lethargy, headache, dystonia, acute dystonia/acute dystonic reactions, epileptiform attacks, altered consciousness, stupor, coma, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, autonomic instability, hyperreflexia, akinesia, electroencephalographic tracing alterations, alterations in cerebrospinal fluid proteins, cerebral edema, impairment in judgement and mental skills[Ref]

Parkinsonism/parkinsonian-like states tended to occur 2 to 5 days after each injection, with a decreased frequency in subsequent injections. This side effect may be reduced by using smaller, more frequent doses or adding an anti-parkinsonism agent temporarily.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Mild hypotension/hypotension, hypertension, arrhythmias, ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation, venous thromboembolism, deep vein thrombosis, edema, peripheral edema, labile blood pressure, tachycardia, ECG changes, fatal cardiac arrest, QT and T-wave changes[Ref]

ECG changes (including QT and T-wave changes) were dose-related side effects that usually occurred at moderate to high doses. These changes may preclude serious arrhythmias.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Galactorrhea, abnormal lactation, oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea, menstrual irregularities, impotence, priapism, inhibition of ejaculation (men), increased libido (women), impaired sexual function, bladder paralysis, polyuria, urinary hesitance and/or incontinency[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Abnormal skin pigmentation, skin rashes, diaphoresis/perspiration, itching, erythema multiforme, contact sensitivity, urticaria, seborrhea, photosensitivity, eczema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioneurotic edema[Ref]

Abnormal skin pigmentation occurred in patients receiving high doses for long durations of time.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Tongue protrusion, dry mouth, constipation, vomiting, nausea, gastric irritation, salivation, fecal impaction, paralytic ileus, difficulty swallowing, aspiration of gastric contents, hypertrophic papillae of the tongue[Ref]


Lens opacities occurred in patients receiving high doses for long durations of time.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Oculogyric crises, blurred vision, lens opacities, glaucoma, mydriasis, corneal opacity, pigmentation of the eyes, pigmentary retinopathy, defective color vision, night blindness, deposition of particulate matter in the lens and cornea[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Neonatal drug withdrawal syndrome
Postmarketing reports: Sudden, unexplained/unexpected deaths, body temperature dysregulation, hypothermia, hyperthermia[Ref]

Sudden, unexplained/unexpected death occurred in hospitalized patients with psychosis.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Agitation, restlessness, excitement, insomnia, bizarre dreams, increased aggressiveness, reactivation/aggravation of psychotic processes, catatonic and confusional states[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Nasal congestion, pulmonary embolism, laryngeal dystonia, asthma, throat tightness, difficulty breathing, active fulminating pneumonia or pneumonitis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hyperprolactinemia, gynecomastia, false positive pregnancy test, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic and hypersensitivity reactions[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Acute renal failure[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Local tissue reactions[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Prolixin (fluphenazine)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

4. "Product Information. Prolixin (fluphenazine)." Apothecon Inc, Plainsboro, NJ.

Some side effects of fluphenazine may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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