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perphenazine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking perphenazine (Trilafon)?

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

You should not use perphenazine if you have liver disease, brain damage, bone marrow depression, 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. You also should not use this medication if you are allergic to perphenazine or other phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Permitil), prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro), promethazine (Adgan, Pentazine, Phenergan), thioridazine (Mellaril), or trifluoperazine (Stelazine).

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you take perphenazine, tell your doctor if you have:

  • severe or untreated depression;
  • heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • severe asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problem;
  • a history of seizures;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • 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 perphenazine or another phenothiazine.

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

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 perphenazine, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.

Perphenazine can pass into breast milk and may 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 medication.

How should I take perphenazine (Trilafon)?

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.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your kidney and liver function may need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking pherphenazine.

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

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

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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