fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is fluphenazine-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Fluphenazine is an oral antipsychotic medication used for the management of schizophrenia. Fluphenazine is one of the older, first-generation piperazine phenothiazine antipsychotic medications. Examples of other phenothiazines include:

Although the exact mechanism of phenothiazine antipsychotics is unknown, scientists believe that they may work by blocking the action of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (chemical) that nerves use to communicate with one another. Phenothiazine antipsychotics are used when patients do not respond to other antipsychotics.

The FDA approved fluphenazine in September 1959.

What brand names are available for fluphenazine-oral?

Permitil, Prolixin

Is fluphenazine-oral available as a generic drug?

Yes

Do I need a prescription for fluphenazine-oral?

Yes

What are the side effects of fluphenazine-oral?

Fluphenazine causes extrapyramidal side effects such as:

  • Abnormal muscle contractions
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Neck spasms

Other side effects include:

Tardive dyskinesia (movement abnormalities of the face, arms, and legs) can result from fluphenazine treatment.

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) which includes symptoms such as fever, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, irregular blood pressure, and irregular heart rate and rhythm can occur. These side effects can be severe so patients must seek medical help.

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotics are at an increased risk of death, and fluphenazine should not be used for treating patients with dementia related psychosis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/12/2017

Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
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