This medication is prescribed to manage specific mental and mood disorders, including schizophrenia, the manic phase of bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. Its primary aim is to enhance cognitive clarity, alleviate anxiety, and facilitate everyday functioning. It can also mitigate aggressive tendencies and the urge to harm oneself or others. Perphenazine belongs to the class of psychiatric medications known as antipsychotics, and it operates by assisting in the restoration of equilibrium among specific natural substances, like dopamine, in the brain.
Uses and Dosage
Administer this medication orally, either with or without food, as per your doctor’s instructions, typically ranging from 1 to 3 times daily.
The prescribed dosage depends on your medical condition and how you respond to the treatment. Initially, your doctor may recommend a low dose, with the option to gradually increase it to minimize the risk of side effects, such as muscle spasms. Adhere closely to your doctor’s guidance in this regard.
For optimal results, take this medication regularly at the same time(s) each day. While you might observe some effects shortly after commencing the treatment, it may take up to 4 to 6 weeks of consistent usage to experience the full benefits.
Do not discontinue this medication without consulting your doctor, as abruptly stopping it could exacerbate your condition. In some cases, your dosage may need to be slowly reduced.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- decreased sweating
- dryness of mouth
- increased appetite for sweets
- nasal congestion
- tiredness or weakness (mild)
- unpleasant taste
- weight gain (unusual)
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- blurred vision or any change in vision
- difficulty in speaking or swallowing
- inability to move eyes
- lip smacking or puckering
- loss of balance control
- mask-like face
- muscle spasms, especially of face, neck, and back
- nervousness, restlessness, or need to keep moving
- puffing of cheeks
- rapid or fine, worm-like movements of tongue
- shuffling walk
- stiffness of arms and legs
- trembling and shaking of fingers and hands
- tic-like or twitching movements
- twisting movements of body
- uncontrolled chewing movements
- uncontrolled movements of arms or legs
- weakness of arms and legs
Prior to initiating perphenazine treatment, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any known allergies you may have, whether to this medication, other phenothiazines, or any other substances. This product may contain inactive ingredients capable of triggering allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using this medication, share your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of the following: diminished bone marrow function, significant head injury, liver issues, nervous system disorders, Parkinson’s disease, a history of alcohol or substance abuse, low blood pressure, respiratory problems, breast cancer, rapid or irregular heartbeat, heart valve abnormalities, a specific adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma), restless legs syndrome, seizure disorders, a severe reaction to other medications, or difficulties with urination.
Perphenazine has the potential to induce a heart rhythm condition known as QT prolongation. This condition can rarely result in a serious rapid or irregular heartbeat, along with other symptoms necessitating immediate medical attention. Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood could also elevate your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may further increase if you are concurrently using certain medications (e.g., diuretics, often referred to as “water pills”) or if you are experiencing conditions like severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting.
This medication may induce dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Concurrent use of alcohol or marijuana could amplify these effects. Until you are confident in your ability to do so safely, refrain from activities requiring alertness or clear vision, such as driving or operating machinery.
Perphenazine may render you more susceptible to the sun’s effects. Minimize your sun exposure and avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and don protective clothing when spending time outdoors. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience sunburn or skin blisters/redness.
Exercise caution in hot weather, as perphenazine may reduce sweating, elevating your risk of heat-related issues such as heatstroke. Stay well-hydrated, refrain from strenuous exercise in hot weather, and seek cooler shelter and/or stop exercising promptly if you become overheated. If your body temperature exceeds normal levels or if you experience mental/mood changes, headaches, or dizziness, seek medical assistance without delay.
Children may be more susceptible to this drug’s side effects, particularly uncontrolled movements.
Older adults may be more vulnerable to this medication’s side effects, including dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, extrapyramidal symptoms, tardive dyskinesia, and QT prolongation. These side effects can increase the risk of falls.
During pregnancy, only use this medication when the potential benefits clearly outweigh the risks. Infants born to mothers who have used perphenazine during the final three months of pregnancy may rarely exhibit symptoms like muscle stiffness or tremors, drowsiness, feeding or breathing difficulties, or persistent crying. If you observe any of these symptoms in your newborn, particularly within the first month, promptly inform your doctor.
Given that untreated mental/mood conditions can be severe, do not discontinue this medication unless explicitly directed by your doctor. If pregnancy is a possibility, or if you become pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant, promptly consult your doctor to discuss the risks and benefits of using this medication during pregnancy.
Perphenazine enters breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant. Seek guidance from your doctor prior to breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Trilafon is available in the following forms and strengths:
How quickly does Trilafon work?
Although you may notice some medication effects soon after starting, it may take as much as 4 to 6 weeks of regular use to see the full benefit.
What does Trilafon do to your brain?
It works by balancing the levels of dopamine in your brain, a substance that helps regulate mood, behaviors, and thoughts.