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Research have indicated that older persons taking antipsychotics (medications for mental illness) like chlorpromazine have a higher risk of dying while receiving treatment for dementia, a brain ailment that impairs memory, thinking clearly, communicating, and performing daily tasks.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved chlorpromazine for the management of behavioural issues in dementia-affected older individuals. If you, a member of your family, or a person you are caring for has dementia and is taking chlorpromazine, speak with the doctor who prescribed it. See the FDA website at for more details.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Chlorpromazine is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, another psychotic disorder, and other conditions that make it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is not, as well as to treat the signs of mania in people with bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes frenzied, abnormally excited moods, loss of interest in life, and disturbed or unusual thinking (manic depressive disorder; a condition that causes episodes of mania, episodes of depression, and other abnormal moods). Children between the ages of one and twelve are treated with chlorpromazine for severe behavioural issues such hyperactivity and explosive, aggressive behaviour. Chlorpromazine is also used to treat hiccups that have persisted for more than a month, nausea and vomiting, and possible anxiousness and restlessness before to surgery. Together with treating acute intermittent porphyria, chlorpromazine is employed (condition in which certain natural substances build up in the body and cause stomach pain, changes in thinking and behavior, and other symptoms). In addition to other drugs, chlorpromazine is also used to treat tetanus (a serious infection that may cause tightening of the muscles, especially the jaw muscle). Chlorpromazine belongs to the group of drugs known as conventional antipsychotics. It functions by altering how some natural compounds behave in the brain and other bodily regions.

How should this medicine be used?

Chlorpromazine is available as an oral tablet. Typically, two to four doses of chlorpromazine are used each day. Chlorpromazine is typically given every 4-6 hours as needed to treat nausea and vomiting. Chlorpromazine is typically taken two to three hours prior to surgery in order to reduce anxiety. Chlorpromazine is often used three to four times daily for up to three days, or until the hiccups disappear. After three days of treatment, if the hiccups still persist, a different drug should be taken. If you regularly use chlorpromazine, take it at roughly the same time each day. If there is anything you do not understand about the instructions on your prescription label, contact your doctor or pharmacist to clarify it. As indicated, take the chlorpromazine dosage. Use it only as directed by your doctor, neither more nor less than that amount or more frequently.

Your doctor might prescribe you a low dose of chlorpromazine and then gradually raise it. After your disease is under control, your doctor might lower your dose. Tell your doctor how you are feeling while receiving chlorpromazine medication.

Chlorpromazine may manage your symptoms if you’re using it to treat schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, but it won’t make your condition go away. Even if you feel good, keep taking chlorpromazine. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking chlorpromazine. Your dose will likely be gradually reduced by your doctor. You can experience withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, disorientation, and shakiness, if you abruptly stop using chlorpromazine.

Other uses for this medicine

For more information, consult your doctor or pharmacist. This drug may also be used for other purposes.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking chlorpromazine,

  • If you have any allergies, including to phenothiazines such fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine (Compazine), promethazine (Phenergan), thioridazine, and trifluoperazine, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Incorporate any of the following: antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin); cancer chemotherapy, diuretics (water pills), epinephrine (Epipen), guanethidine (not available in the US), atropine (in Motofen, Lomotil, and Lonox), barbiturates such pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), and secobarbital (Seconal), water pills, and cancer chemotherapy; medications for anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, mental illness, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, ulcers, or urinary problems; ipratropium (Atrovent); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); drugs for seizures like phenytoin (Dilantin); narcotic painkillers; propranolol (Inderal); sedatives; sleeping pills; and tranquillizers. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you struggle with balance, have difficulties breathing, have emphysema, an infection in your bronchial tubes (tubes that carry air to the lungs), have asthma or have ever had any of these conditions. Breast cancer, pheochromocytoma (tumour on a small gland near the kidneys), seizures, an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG; test that records electrical activity in the brain), any condition that affects the production of blood cells by your bone marrow, heart, liver, or kidney disease, and glaucoma (condition in which increased pressure in the eyes can cause gradual loss of vision). Moreover, disclose to your physician if you have ever had to stop using a mental health prescription because of negative side effects or if you want to deal with organophosphorus pesticides (a type of chemical used to kill insects).
  • If you plan to use chlorpromazine to treat nausea and vomiting, it’s crucial to let your doctor know about any additional symptoms, particularly listlessness, drowsiness, confusion, aggression, seizures, headaches, issues with vision, hearing, speech, or balance, stomach pain or cramps, or constipation. If you also have nausea and vomiting, this could be a sign of a more serious problem that shouldn’t be treated with chlorpromazine.
  • If you are pregnant, particularly if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, if you plan to get pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding, let your doctor know. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking chlorpromazine. If chlorpromazine is taken in the final months of pregnancy, it may have negative effects on babies after birth.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking chlorpromazine if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Inform your physician and the radiographer that you are taking chlorpromazine if you are getting a myelogram (a spine x-ray). Most likely, your doctor will advise against taking chlorpromazine for two days prior to and one day following the myelogram.
  • You should be aware that this drug may cause you to feel sleepy and may impact how you move and think. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.
  • Inquire with your doctor if drinking is safe while you are on chlorpromazine treatment. The negative effects of chlorpromazine can be exacerbated by alcohol.
  • Have a plan to limit your time spent in the sun and to use sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothes. Your skin could become sun-sensitive when using chlorpromazine.
  • You should be aware that chlorpromazine can make you feel faint, lightheaded, dizzy, and have a fast heartbeat, especially if you get out of bed too soon. The initial few days of chlorpromazine therapy, especially after the first dose, are when this happens the most frequently. Get out of bed gradually, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up, to avoid this issue.
  • You should be aware that when it’s very hot outside, chlorpromazine may make it more difficult for your body to cool down. If you want to engage in strenuous activity or be exposed to high temperatures, let your doctor know.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missing dose of chlorpromazine as soon as you remember it if you take it on a regular basis. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

There could be adverse effects from chlorpromazine. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Feeling lightheaded, unstable, or having difficulties balancing
  • Blank look on the face
  • Shuffled walking
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Nervousness
  • Any area of the body exhibiting strange, delayed, or unpredictable movements
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Higher appetite
  • Gaining weight
  • Creation of breast milk
  • Breast expansion
  • Missing menstrual cycles
  • Reduced sexual capacity
  • Variations in skin tone
  • Mouth ache
  • Blocked nose
  • Having trouble urinating
  • Widening or narrowing of the pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes)

Some adverse effects may be severe. Make a quick call to your doctor if you encounter any of the following signs:

  • Fever
  • Muscular rigidity
  • Falling
  • Confusion
  • Rapid or erratic heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
  • Flu-like signs
  • Chills, a sore throat, and other symptoms of infection
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding
  • Neck pain
  • Tongue protruding from the mouth
  • Throat constriction
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Little tongue movements that resembled worms
  • Rhythmic, uncontrollable facial, mouth, or jaw motions
  • Seizures
  • Blisters
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Eye, face, mouth, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs swelling
  • Loss of eyesight, particularly at night
  • Having a brownish hue to everything

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

Other adverse reactions to chlorpromazine are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at for additional information.

Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose symptoms could include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Consciousness is lost
  • Arousal is characterised by strange, sluggish, or uncontrollable motions of any part of the body
  • Restlessness
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Mouth ach
  • Unsteady heartbeat

What other information should I know?

Be on time for all of your doctor’s and eye doctor’s appointments. While receiving therapy with chlorpromazine, you should arrange routine eye exams because the drug has been linked to eye problems.

Inform your doctor and the laboratory staff that you are taking chlorpromazine prior to any laboratory test.

Home pregnancy tests may not yield accurate results if you use chlorpromazine. If you suspect you might be pregnant while receiving chlorpromazine medication, let your doctor know.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Promapar®
  • Thorazine®
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