Brand Names: Thorazine
Generic Name: chlorpromazine (oral)
- What is chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
- What are the possible side effects of chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
- What is the most important information I should know about chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
- How should I take chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Thorazine)?
- What happens if I overdose (Thorazine)?
- What should I avoid while taking chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
- What other drugs will affect chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
- Where can I get more information (Thorazine)?
What is chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
Chlorpromazine is an anti-psychotic medication in a group of drugs called phenothiazines (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeens). It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain.
Chlorpromazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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What are the possible side effects of chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
High doses or long-term use of chlorpromazine can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. Symptoms of this disorder include uncontrollable muscle movements of your lips, tongue, eyes, face, arms, or legs. The longer you take chlorpromazine, the more likely you are to develop a serious movement disorder. The risk of this side effect is higher in women and older adults.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
- stiffness in your neck, tightness in your throat, trouble breathing or swallowing;
- sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough;
- pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.
Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.
Common side effects may include:
- breast swelling or discharge;
- changes in menstrual periods;
- dry mouth or stuffy nose, blurred vision;
- constipation; or
- impotence, trouble having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs. These could be early signs of dangerous side effects.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
Do not take chlorpromazine if you have recently used large amounts of alcohol or taken a medicine that makes you sleepy.
Chlorpromazine is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Chlorpromazine may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
To make sure chlorpromazine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- bone marrow suppression;
- a brain tumor;
- heart disease;
- liver or kidney disease;
- severe asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problem;
- a history of breast cancer;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
- an enlarged prostate or urination problems; or
- if you also take lithium or a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin).
Talk with your doctor before giving chlorpromazine to a child who has been ill with a fever or flu symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, or to insecticide poisons while you are taking chlorpromazine.
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 chlorpromazine, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.
Chlorpromazine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using chlorpromazine.
If you need to have any type of x-ray scan or MRI of your spinal cord, tell the doctor ahead of time that you are using chlorpromazine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Do not stop using chlorpromazine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using chlorpromazine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose (Thorazine)?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose (Thorazine)?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.
What other drugs will affect chlorpromazine (Thorazine)?
Taking chlorpromazine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with chlorpromazine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information (Thorazine)?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about chlorpromazine.
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