Fluphenazine is a phenothiazine medication that falls under the class of neuroleptics and is used to alleviate symptoms of a particular kind of mental or mood disorder, namely schizophrenia. It operates by modifying the natural balance of chemicals in the brain. Consistent use of this medication can lead to a decrease in episodes of hallucinations, delusions, or unusual conduct typically found in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Uses and Dosage
Fluphenazine is available in tablet form or as an oral liquid that can be taken by mouth. It is typically taken two to three times per day, and can be taken with or without food. Take fluphenazine exactly as directed and not to take more or less of it or take it more frequently than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are using the oral liquid form of fluphenazine, it will come with a dropper for measuring the dose. Ask your pharmacist to demonstrate how to use it. Be careful not to let the liquid come into contact with your skin or clothing, as it can cause skin irritation. Dilute the concentrate in water, Seven-Up, carbonated orange beverage, milk, V-8, or grapefruit juice just before taking it. Do not use beverages containing caffeine (such as coffee, tea, and cola) or apple juice.
Continue taking fluphenazine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking it without first consulting with your doctor, particularly if you have been taking high doses for an extended period of time. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce your dose.
It may take several weeks of regular use before fluphenazine’s full effects are felt.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- upset stomach
- weakness or tiredness
- excitement or anxiety
- dry mouth
- skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual
- changes in appetite or weight
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms
- slow or difficult speech
- shuffling walk
- persistent fine tremor or inability to sit still
- fever, chills, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- severe skin rash
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- irregular heartbeat
Before taking fluphenazine, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have an allergy to it or other phenothiazines (such as chlorpromazine, perphenazine), or if you have any other allergies. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, particularly if you have brain damage, nervous system problems, blood problems, liver problems, breast cancer, eye problems (such as glaucoma), heart problems, kidney problems, certain types of tumors (pheochromocytoma), seizures, exposure to phosphorus insecticides, chronic breathing problems, low blood calcium, enlarged prostate, drug or alcohol dependency, Reye’s syndrome, dehydration.
This drug may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Alcohol or marijuana may exacerbate these effects. Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in activities that require alertness or clear vision until you can do so safely.
This medication may increase your sensitivity to the sun. Limit your time in the sun, avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, use sunscreen, and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience sunburn or skin blisters/redness.
This medication may cause decreased sweating, making you more susceptible to heat stroke. Avoid activities that may cause overheating, such as hard work or exercising in hot weather, or using hot tubs. When the weather is hot, drink plenty of fluids and wear light clothing. Seek a cool place to rest if you overheat. Contact a doctor immediately if you experience a fever that doesn’t go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness.
Avoid exposing yourself to very cold temperatures, such as swimming in cold water, as it may cause severe lowering of your body temperature.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially the side effect of uncontrolled movements.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially facial or muscle twitching, muscle spasms/stiffness, uncontrolled movements, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, and potential effects on blood pressure. Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and confusion can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be used if it is clearly necessary. Liver problems or birth defects may occur in infants exposed to this type of medication in the womb. Notify your doctor immediately if you observe yellowing of the eyes/skin or dark urine in your infant. Babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last three months of pregnancy may rarely develop symptoms including muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, particularly during their first month, notify your doctor right away.
Since untreated mental/mood problems (such as schizophrenia) can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. However, similar drugs pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Form and Strength
Prolixin is available in the following forms and strengths:
Fluphenazine HCL tablet:
How fast does Prolixin work?
It may take two to three months before you feel the full effect of Prolixinv.
Can you take Prolixin long term?
High doses or long-term use of Prolixin can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible.