Chlorpromazine is utilized to treat specific mental or mood disorders. Its main purpose is to aid in clearer thinking, reduce feelings of nervousness, and enable participation in daily life activities. It can decrease aggressive behavior and the urge to harm oneself or others, as well as minimize hallucinations. Chlorpromazine is also employed to regulate nausea and vomiting, alleviate extended periods of hiccups, relieve restlessness and anxiety before surgery, and aid in the treatment of tetanus.
Chlorpromazine belongs to a class of psychiatric medications known as phenothiazine antipsychotics. It functions by aiding in the restoration of certain natural substances’ balance in the brain.
Uses and Dosage
Chlorpromazine is administered orally in tablet form. The usual frequency for taking chlorpromazine is two to four times daily.
When treating nausea and vomiting, chlorpromazine is taken as needed, every 4-6 hours. For nervousness relief before surgery, it is taken 2-3 hours before the procedure. In the case of hiccups, chlorpromazine is generally taken 3-4 times per day for up to 3 days or until the hiccups stop. If the hiccups persist after 3 days of treatment, an alternative medication should be used.
If you are taking chlorpromazine regularly, take it at approximately the same time each day. Take chlorpromazine precisely as directed. Do not take more or less than prescribed or take it more frequently than directed.
Initially, your physician may prescribe a low dose of chlorpromazine and gradually increase it.
Once your symptoms are under control, your doctor may reduce your dosage. Inform your doctor about how you are feeling during your chlorpromazine treatment.
If you are taking chlorpromazine for schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, it may alleviate your symptoms but not cure your condition. Continue to take chlorpromazine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking chlorpromazine without consulting your doctor. Your doctor will most likely decrease your dose gradually. Abruptly discontinuing chlorpromazine may result in withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, and shakiness.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dizziness, feeling unsteady, or having trouble keeping your balance
- blank facial expression
- shuffling walk
- unusual, slowed, or uncontrollable movements of any part of the body
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- increased appetite
- weight gain
- breast milk production
- breast enlargement
- missed menstrual periods
- decreased sexual ability
- changes in skin color
- dry mouth
- stuffed nose
- difficulty urinating
- widening or narrowing of the pupils
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- muscle stiffness
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
- sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- neck cramps
- tongue that sticks out of the mouth
- tightness in the throat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- fine, worm-like tongue movements
- uncontrollable, rhythmic face, mouth, or jaw movements
- swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- vision loss, especially at night
- seeing everything with a brown tint
Before taking chlorpromazine, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it, other phenothiazine drugs (such as perphenazine, thioridazine), or have any other allergies. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that could trigger allergic reactions or other problems.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, particularly if you have liver, kidney, heart problems, low blood pressure, glaucoma, seizures, enlarged prostate, breathing issues, blood or blood clotting problems, a specific adrenal gland problem (pheochromocytoma), drug/alcohol/substance use disorder, or Parkinson’s disease.
Chlorpromazine may cause QT prolongation, a condition that affects heart rhythm. QT prolongation can infrequently cause severe (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
Your risk of QT prolongation may increase with low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood, certain medications (such as diuretics/”water pills”), or conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting.
This medication may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. The use of alcohol or marijuana may intensify dizziness or drowsiness. Do not operate machinery, drive, or perform any task that necessitates alertness or clear vision until you can do so securely.
This medication may increase your sensitivity to the sun. Limit your sun exposure, avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, use sunscreen, and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Inform your doctor immediately if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
This medication may cause reduced sweating, making you more susceptible to heat stroke. Avoid activities that could lead to overheating, such as strenuous work or exercise in hot weather, or using hot tubs. Drink plenty of fluids and wear lightweight clothing when the weather is hot. If you overheat, immediately find a cool place to rest. Seek medical attention right away if you have a fever that doesn’t go away, changes in mood/mental state, headache, or dizziness.
Children may be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, particularly uncontrolled movements. They may be at higher risk when they are ill (such as having a viral infection or dehydration).
Older adults may be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, particularly dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, uncontrollable movements, constipation, difficulty urinating, blurred vision, and QT prolongation. Drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falls.
During pregnancy, use this medication only if necessary. Avoid using chlorpromazine near your due date because it may cause low blood pressure in the mother. Additionally, babies born to mothers who have used this medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely experience symptoms such as muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, especially during their first month, inform the doctor right away.
Since untreated mental/mood problems can be a serious condition, do not stop using this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor right away the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Form and Strength
Thorazine is available in the following forms and strengths:
How fast does Thorazine work?
It can take a few days for Thorazine to take effect.
How does Thorazine make you feel?
The most common side-effects are feeling drowsy or dizzy, blurred vision and dry mouth.