- Schizophrenia Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Schizophrenia Quiz
- Physical Symptoms of Depression Slideshow
- What is oral fluphenazine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the side effects of fluphenazine?
- What is the dosage for fluphenazine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with fluphenazine?
- Is fluphenazine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about fluphenazine?
What is oral fluphenazine, 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:
- prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro, Procomp),
- chlorpromazine (Promapar, Thorazine),
- perphenazine, trifluoperazine (Stelazine), and
- thioridazine (Mellaril).
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?
Is fluphenazine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for fluphenazine?
What are the side effects of fluphenazine?
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.
What is the dosage for fluphenazine?
The recommended starting dose of fluphenazine is 2.5 to 10 mg per day orally in divided doses, every 6 to 8 hours. Doses may be increased as needed and as tolerated to a maximum of 40 mg per day. Once symptoms are controlled, maintenance oral doses of 1 to 5 mg per day are recommended. Dose adjustment is based on individual response and side effects of the medication.
Which drugs or supplements interact with fluphenazine?
Combining fluphenazine with medications such as procainamide (Pronestyl), sotalol (Betapace), amiodarone (Cordarone), and dofetilide (Tikosyn) that affect heart rate and rhythm can cause abnormal heart beats.
Antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), and nortriptyline (Pamelor) can cause an abnormal heart rate and rhythm; ombining them with fluphenazine increases the risk of abnormal heart beats.
Fluphenazine should not be combined with other antipsychotics such as aripiprazole (Abilify) and risperidone (Risperdal) because such combinations can cause abnormal muscle contractions, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and neck spasms. Patients should seek medical help when experiencing such effects.
Fluphenazine may increase lithium (Lithobid, Eskolith) levels in the body. Patients may experience increased side effects of lithium such as increased thirst, decreased heart rate, weakness, blurred vision, decreased concentration, and ringing in the ears.
Fluphenazine should be used with caution with medications that depress the central nervous system and cause sedation or drowsiness. Examples include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), zolpidem (Ambien), codeine, morphine, and alcohol. Such combinations can cause excessive sedation, drowsiness, weakness, confusion, speech impairment, and in severe cases coma or death.
Is fluphenazine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Safe and effective use of fluphenazine is not established in pregnant females; however, it should be avoided to prevent harm to the unborn.
What else should I know about fluphenazine?
What preparations of fluphenazine are available?
Oral elixir: 2.5 mg/5 ml. Oral solution: 5 mg/ml. Tablets: 1, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg.
How should I keep fluphenazine stored?
Fluphenazine tablets, oral elixir, and oral solution should be stored between 20 C and 25 C (68 F and 77 F).
Latest Mental Health News
Daily Health News
Fluphenazine hydrochloride (Permitil, Prolixin) is a drug prescribed to manage schizophrenia. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
What is schizophrenia? Learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment. Read about schizophrenia types such as paranoid...
Schizophrenia Quiz: What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder. Learn more about the challenges of mental illness with the Schizophrenia Quiz.
Related Disease Conditions
Mental Illness in Children
About 5 million children and adolescents in the U.S. suffer from a serious mental illness such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, pervasive development disorders, elimination disorders, learning disorders, schizophrenia, tic disorders, and mood disorders. Symptoms of mental illness include frequent outbursts of anger, hyperactivity, fear of gaining weight, excessive worrying, frequent temper tantrums, and hearing voices that aren't there. Treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy, and creative therapies.
Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to communicate and pay attention. Symptoms of psychosis appear in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their mid-20s to early 30s. With treatment involving the use of antipsychotic medications and psychosocial treatment, schizophrenia patients can lead rewarding and meaningful lives.
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that features schizophrenia and a mood disorder, either major depression or bipolar disorder. Symptoms include agitation, suicidal thoughts, little need for sleep, delusions, hallucinations, and poor motivation. Treatment may involve psychotherapy, medication, skills training, or hospitalization.
Mental illness is any disease or condition affecting the brain that influence the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others. Mental illness is caused by heredity, biology, psychological trauma and environmental stressors.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Poor Hygiene
- Loss of Speech
- Catatonia (Catatonic Behavior)
- Abnormal Facial Expressions
- Unusual Behavior
- Disorganized Speech
- Lack of Facial Expressions
- Inability to Regulate Emotions
- Tourette Syndrome
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Medications & Supplements
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information.