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Fluphenazine is an antipsychotic medication primarily used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. While it can be effective in managing symptoms, there are potential risks associated with its use. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): Fluphenazine can cause movement disorders such as tremors, rigidity, and involuntary muscle movements. These symptoms are known as extrapyramidal symptoms and can be distressing for the patient.
  • Tardive Dyskinesia: Long-term use of fluphenazine can increase the risk of tardive dyskinesia, a condition characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements, particularly of the face and tongue. Tardive dyskinesia may persist even after discontinuing the medication and can be irreversible.
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): Although rare, fluphenazine can trigger neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by fever, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, and autonomic dysfunction. Immediate medical attention is required if NMS is suspected.
  • Sedation and Cognitive Impairment: Fluphenazine can cause sedation and cognitive impairment, affecting concentration, memory, and judgment. This can impair daily functioning and increase the risk of accidents, particularly when driving or operating machinery.
  • Cardiovascular Effects: Fluphenazine may prolong the QT interval, increasing the risk of arrhythmias. It can also cause orthostatic hypotension, leading to dizziness and falls, especially in elderly patients.
  • Metabolic Effects: Like other antipsychotic medications, fluphenazine can lead to weight gain, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance, increasing the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
  • Hyperprolactinemia: Fluphenazine can elevate prolactin levels, leading to symptoms such as galactorrhea (inappropriate lactation), menstrual irregularities, and sexual dysfunction.
  • Anticholinergic Side Effects: Fluphenazine can produce anticholinergic side effects such as dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and urinary retention.
  • Allergic Reactions: While rare, allergic reactions to fluphenazine can occur, manifesting as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Immediate medical attention is necessary if these symptoms arise.

It’s essential for patients prescribed fluphenazine to be closely monitored by their healthcare provider to manage and mitigate these risks effectively. Additionally, patients should be informed about the potential side effects and encouraged to report any concerning symptoms promptly.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Fluphenazine is an antipsychotic medication primarily used to treat symptoms of certain mental/mood disorders such as schizophrenia. It helps to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain (neurotransmitters). Fluphenazine belongs to a class of drugs known as phenothiazines.

It is prescribed to manage symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking, which are common in conditions like schizophrenia. Fluphenazine helps in reducing these symptoms, allowing individuals to function more effectively in their daily lives.

How should this medicine be used?

When using Fluphenazine as a tablet or oral liquid, it is crucial to follow the dosage instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist. Typically, it is taken by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice a day. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking.

Here are some general guidelines for using Fluphenazine:

  • Take Fluphenazine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less than the prescribed amount, and do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor.
  • If you are using the liquid form of Fluphenazine, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon as it may not provide the correct dosage.
  • It may take several weeks for Fluphenazine to show its full effect. Continue taking it as directed even if you feel well.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Fluphenazine without consulting your doctor, as this may lead to withdrawal symptoms or a relapse of your condition.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
  • Store Fluphenazine tablets or oral liquid at room temperature away from light and moisture.
  • It is essential to attend all scheduled appointments with your doctor while taking Fluphenazine so that your progress can be monitored and dosage adjustments can be made if necessary.

As with any medication, Fluphenazine may cause side effects, and it’s essential to discuss any concerns or unusual symptoms with your doctor promptly. Additionally, it’s important to avoid alcohol and other central nervous system depressants while taking Fluphenazine, as they may increase the risk of side effects.

Other uses for this medicine

Some other potential uses of Fluphenazine include:

  • Bipolar Disorder: Fluphenazine may be prescribed as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder, particularly during manic episodes.
  • Severe Anxiety: In some cases, Fluphenazine may be used to alleviate severe anxiety symptoms, although it’s not a first-line treatment for this condition.
  • Behavioral Disorders in Children: Fluphenazine might be used in certain cases to manage severe behavioral disorders in children, such as aggression or hyperactivity.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions should be taken when using Fluphenazine (as a tablet or oral liquid). Here are some important considerations:

  • Medical History: Before taking Fluphenazine, inform your doctor about any medical conditions you have, especially if you have a history of liver or kidney disease, seizures, heart problems, blood disorders, or glaucoma.
  • Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to Fluphenazine or other phenothiazines.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Fluphenazine should be used with caution during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, and only if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. It may pass into breast milk, so breastfeeding while using Fluphenazine is not recommended.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Fluphenazine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness until you know how Fluphenazine affects you.
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs: Avoid consuming alcohol and other central nervous system depressants while taking Fluphenazine, as they may increase the risk of sedation and other side effects.
  • Regular Monitoring: Regular monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs may be necessary while taking Fluphenazine.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: Inform your doctor about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Fluphenazine, potentially increasing the risk of side effects or reducing its effectiveness.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and consult them if you have any questions or concerns about taking Fluphenazine or any other medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions for Fluphenazine, there are no specific dietary restrictions associated with its use. However, it’s generally recommended to maintain a balanced diet and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine, as they may interfere with the effectiveness of the medication or exacerbate certain side effects.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Fluphenazine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. If you’re unsure about what to do, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance. It’s important not to miss doses regularly, as consistent dosing is crucial for the effectiveness of Fluphenazine in managing your condition.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Fluphenazine, like any medication, can cause side effects. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary from person to person. Some common side effects of Fluphenazine (as a tablet or oral liquid) include:

  • Drowsiness: Fluphenazine can cause drowsiness or sedation, which may impair your ability to concentrate or perform tasks requiring alertness.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may experience dizziness or lightheadedness while taking Fluphenazine, especially when standing up quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): These are movement disorders that can include tremors, muscle stiffness, restlessness, and involuntary movements such as tardive dyskinesia.
  • Dry Mouth: Fluphenazine can cause a decrease in saliva production, leading to a dry mouth sensation.
  • Blurred Vision: Some individuals may experience blurred vision or other visual disturbances while taking Fluphenazine.
  • Constipation: Fluphenazine may slow down bowel movements, leading to constipation in some individuals.
  • Weight Gain: Weight gain can occur as a side effect of Fluphenazine, although not everyone will experience this.
  • Orthostatic Hypotension: Fluphenazine may cause a drop in blood pressure when changing positions, leading to symptoms such as dizziness or fainting upon standing up quickly.
  • Sexual Dysfunction: Some individuals may experience changes in sexual function or libido while taking Fluphenazine.
  • Increased Prolactin Levels: Fluphenazine can elevate levels of the hormone prolactin, which may lead to side effects such as breast enlargement or lactation (even in men), menstrual irregularities, or sexual dysfunction.
  • Metabolic Changes: Fluphenazine can sometimes lead to metabolic changes, such as elevated blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, or triglycerides.
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): Although rare, Fluphenazine can potentially cause NMS, a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction characterized by fever, muscle rigidity, confusion, and other symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

It’s essential to report any side effects you experience while taking Fluphenazine to your doctor promptly. Additionally, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, or if you have any concerns about your medication, seek medical advice as soon as possible. Your doctor may be able to adjust your dosage or recommend alternative treatments to minimize side effects.

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

Storage and disposal of Fluphenazine:


  • Keep Fluphenazine tablets or oral liquid tightly closed in their original container, away from moisture and light.
  • Store Fluphenazine at room temperature, away from heat sources and direct sunlight.
  • Keep Fluphenazine out of reach of children and pets, as it can be harmful if accidentally ingested.


  • Do not flush Fluphenazine tablets or oral liquid down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so by a healthcare professional or pharmacist.
  • Dispose of unused or expired Fluphenazine medication properly by following local regulations or guidelines for medication disposal.
  • You can check with your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility for information on how to dispose of Fluphenazine safely.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or overdose of Fluphenazine (as a tablet or oral liquid), it’s important to seek immediate medical attention by calling your local emergency services or going to the nearest emergency room. Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness, confusion, agitation, tremors, seizures, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness.

What other information should I know?

  • Fluphenazine may interact with other medications, supplements, or herbal products. Inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Avoid sudden discontinuation of Fluphenazine without consulting your doctor, as it may lead to withdrawal symptoms or a relapse of your condition.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your doctor for monitoring of your condition and to discuss any concerns or changes in your symptoms.
  • Do not change your dosage of Fluphenazine without consulting your doctor first.
  • Keep a list of all medications you are taking, including Fluphenazine, and carry it with you in case of emergencies or doctor visits.
  • Inform healthcare providers, including dentists and surgeons, that you are taking Fluphenazine before undergoing any medical procedures or surgeries.
  • Be cautious when consuming alcohol or other central nervous system depressants while taking Fluphenazine, as they may enhance its sedative effects.

It’s crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions and guidance regarding the use of Fluphenazine and to report any concerns or side effects promptly.

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