perphenazine (Trilafon - discontinued)

  • 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.

GENERIC NAME: perphenazine

BRAND NAME: N/A

DISCONTINUED BRAND: Trilafon

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Perphenazine is an oral antipsychotic medication used for the management of schizophrenia. Perphenazine is one of the older, first-generation antipsychotic medications. Examples of other first-generation antipsychotics include:

Although the exact mechanism of 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. Perphenazine is used when patients do not respond to other antipsychotics.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Perphenazine is used for the management of schizophrenia, severe nausea and vomiting in adults, and intractable hiccoughs (hiccups that last longer than a month).

SIDE EFFECTS WARNING:

  • Long-term use of perphenazine may lead to a potentially irreversible condition called tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the jaw, lips, and tongue).
  • A potentially fatal complex referred to as neuroleptic malignant syndrome has been reported with anti-psychotic drugs, including perphenazine. Patients who develop this syndrome may have:
  • Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotics are at an increased risk of death, and perphenazine should not be used for treating patients with dementia-related psychosis.
  • Perphenazine may impair the mental and physical abilities required for to drive a car or operate machinery.
  • Like other antipsychotics neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may occur.
  • Life threatening abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias) may occur.
  • Perphenazine may cause low blood pressure.
  • A decrease in blood cell counts has been reported during treatment with perphenazine. Low white blood cell counts may increase the risk for infection.
  • Perphenazine may increase blood levels of prolactin, a hormone that may cause women to develop a breast discharge and for men to develop breasts.
  • Perphenazine may increase the risk of seizures.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/22/2015

Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
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