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Etrafon (Generic Perphenazine)

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Studies have shown that older adults who take antipsychotics (medications for mental illness) like perphenazine have a higher risk of dying while receiving treatment. Dementia is a brain disorder that affects memory, thinking clearly, communication, and daily activities as well as possibly causing changes in mood and personality.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved perphenazine for the management of behavioural issues in dementia-affected older individuals. If you, a family member, or a person you care for has dementia and is taking perphenazine, speak with the doctor who recommended it. Visit the FDA website for further details.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Treatment for schizophrenia symptoms with perphenazine (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Adults who suffer from severe nausea and vomiting can also be treated with perphenazine. The drug perphenazine belongs to the group of drugs known as conventional antipsychotics. It functions by reducing excessive cerebral excitation.

How should this medicine be used?

To be taken orally, perphenazine is available as a tablet. Typically, it is taken two to four times a day. Take perphenazine every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Consume perphenazine as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

When your symptoms are under control, your doctor may start you on an average dose of perphenazine and then reduce it. While you receive perphenazine medication, be sure to discuss your feelings with your doctor.

Although it won’t treat your disease, perphenazine may help you manage your symptoms. Even if you are feeling fine, keep taking perphenazine. Without consulting your doctor, never discontinue taking perphenazine. You can have withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, and shakiness if you abruptly stop using perphenazine. Your doctor will probably gradually reduce your dosage and might also advise you to take another medicine for a while after you stop taking perphenazine.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking perphenazine,

  • If you have any allergies, including to perphenazine, other phenothiazines including chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, prochlorperazine (Compazine), promethazine (Phenergan), thioridazine, or trifluoperazine, let your doctor and chemist know right away.
  • Inform your physician and chemist of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking or intend to take. Make sure you bring up any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), antihistamines, antidepressants, and atropine (found in Motofen, Lomotil, and Lonox); pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), and secobarbital (Seconal); bupropion (Aplenzin, Wellbutrin, Zyban); chlorpheniramine (found in cold and cough remedies); Cimetidine (Tagamet); Clomipramine (Anafranil); Duloxetine (Cymbalta); Epinephrine (Epipen); Haloperidol (Haldol); drugs for irritable bowel syndrome, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary issues; ipratropium (Atrovent); anxiety or mental illness meds; opioid painkillers, such as methadone (Dolophine); sedatives, quinidine, ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), several selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft), as well as sleeping pills and tranquillizers. Your doctor might need to adjust your medication doses or keep a close eye out for any negative side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have had had liver illness, balance issues, brain injury, or any condition that affects your blood cells, including those that affect your bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells. You could be advised by your doctor not to take perphenazine.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the following conditions: pheochromocytoma (tumour on a small gland close to the kidneys); breast cancer; seizures; an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG; test that gauges the electrical activity in the brain); depression; breathing-related conditions like asthma, emphysema, or a lung infection; heart or kidney disease. Tell your doctor if you have ever had to stop taking a medication for a mental illness due to serious side effects, if you plan to work with organophosphate insecticides, or if you are exhibiting symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (which a person may experience if they stop drinking alcohol after consuming large amounts for a long period of time) (a type of chemical used to kill insects).
  • It is crucial to inform your doctor of any additional symptoms you are having if you plan to use perphenazine to treat nausea and vomiting, particularly listlessness, drowsiness, confusion, aggression, seizures, headaches, problems with vision, hearing, speech, or balance, stomach pain or cramps, or constipation. When these symptoms are accompanied with nausea and vomiting, it may be an indication of a more serious disease that shouldn’t be treated with perphenazine.
  • 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 perphenazine. If perphenazine is taken in the final months of pregnancy, it may have negative effects on babies after birth.
  • Inform your physician or dentist that you are taking perphenazine if you are undergoing surgery, including dental surgery.
  • 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 okay for you to do while taking this medicine. Perphenazine side effects 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 photosensitive if you take perphenazine.
  • You should be aware that taking perphenazine could make it harder for your body to cool off when it becomes extremely heated. If you want to engage in strenuous activity or be exposed to high temperatures, let your doctor know.
  • You should be aware that taking perphenazine can make you feel faint, lightheaded, and dizzy if you stand up too rapidly from a reclining position. When you initially start using perphenazine, this happens more frequently. Get out of bed gradually, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up, to avoid this issue.

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?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If your next dose is approaching, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing regimen. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from perphenazine are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, consult your doctor:

  • Feeling lightheaded, unstable, or having difficulties balancing
  • Fuzzy vision
  • Enlargement or constriction of the pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes)
  • Light skin
  • Mouth ache
  • Surplus saliva
  • Blocked nose
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Reduced appetite
  • Blank look on the face
  • Shuffled walking
  • Any area of the body exhibiting strange, delayed, or unpredictable movements
  • Restlessness
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Strange dreams
  • Erroneously believing that others are a threat
  • Frequent or challenging urinating
  • Lack of bladder control
  • alteration in skin tone
  • Breast expansion
  • Creation of breast milk
  • Missing menstrual cycles
  • Reduced male sexual prowess

There could be some severe negative effects. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Muscular rigidity
  • Falling
  • Confusion
  • Rapid or erratic heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Reduced thirst
  • 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
  • Eye discomfort or a bluish tint
  • Loss of eyesight, particularly at night
  • Having a brownish hue to everything
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Eye, face, mouth, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs swelling
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Infection symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, chills, and others

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).

Further negative effects of perphenazine are possible. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, let your doctor know 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).

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.

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 chemist or the garbage/recycling agency 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.

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:

  • Trouble reacting to environment
  • Coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
  • Seizures
  • Rapid or erratic heartbeat

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you are responding to perphenazine, your doctor may perform specific lab tests.

Home pregnancy tests may not yield accurate results if perphenazine is taken. If you suspect pregnancy while taking perphenazine, let your doctor know right once. Never attempt a pregnancy test at home.

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

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

  • Trilafon®
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