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fluphenazine (oral) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin)?

Fluphenazine is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Fluphenazine may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

You should not use fluphenazine if you have liver disease, brain damage, bone marrow depression, or a blood cell disorder (such as low platelets or low red or white blood cell counts), or if you are also using large amounts of alcohol or medicines that make you sleepy. Do not use if you are allergic to fluphenazine or other phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro), promethazine (Adgan, Pentazine, Phenergan), thioridazine (Mellaril), or trifluoperazine (Stelazine).

To make sure you can safely take fluphenazine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • a history of seizures or brain injury;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • severe asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problem;
  • past or present breast cancer;
  • adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma);
  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;
  • low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia);
  • glaucoma; or
  • if you have ever had a serious side effect while using fluphenazine or any other phenothiazine.

Tell your doctor if you will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, or to insecticide poisons while you are taking fluphenazine.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking fluphenazine, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.

It is not known whether fluphenazine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

How should I take fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Fluphenazine oral solution concentrate solution must be mixed with at least 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of a liquid such as milk, tomato juice, fruit juice (but not apple juice), or a soft drink that does not contain caffeine.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver and kidney function will need to be checked with frequent blood tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using fluphenazine.

Do not stop using fluphenazine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using fluphenazine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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