- What Kind of Doctor Do I Need? Slideshow
- Dental (Oral) Health Quiz
- Causes of a Heart Attack Slideshow
- What are phenothiazine antipsychotics?
- What are examples of phenothiazine antipsychotics available in the US?
- What are the side effects of phenothiazine antipsychotics?
- What drugs interact with phenothiazine antipsychotics?
- What formulations of phenothiazine antipsychotics are available?
- What about taking phenothiazine antipsychotics during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
What are phenothiazine antipsychotics?
Phenothiazine antipsychotics are medications used to treat schizophrenia and manifestations of psychotic disorders. Some phenothiazine antipsychotics, like prochlorperazine and chlorpromazine, are used for nausea, vomiting, and hiccups.
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.
What are examples of phenothiazine antipsychotics available in the US?
Examples of phenothiazine antipsychotics are:
What are the side effects of phenothiazine antipsychotics?
There are many side effects of phenothiazine antipsychotics. Common side effects include:
Phenothiazine antipsychotics may cause extra-pyramidal symptoms such:
- as abnormal muscle contractions,
- difficulty breathing and swallowing,
- neck spasms, and
- movement abnormalities on face, arms, and legs.
Constipation also is common.
Phenothiazine antipsychotics can also cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), which include symptoms of:
- muscle rigidity,
- altered mental status,
- irregular blood pressure, and
- irregular heart rate and rhythm.
All phenothiazine antipsychotics carry a boxed warning of increased deaths in elderly patients when used for dementia-related psychosis.
Latest Mental Health News
What drugs interact with phenothiazine antipsychotics?
Phenothiazine antipsychotics should not be combined with other antipsychotics or medications that cause extra-pyramidal side effects and neuroleptic malignant syndrome due to an increased likelihood of these side effects.
Phenothiazine antipsychotics should be used with caution with medications (for example, fluoxetine [Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly]) that reduce the activity of liver enzymes that eliminate phenothiazines because levels of phenothiazines can increase and lead to more side effects.
What formulations of phenothiazine antipsychotics are available?
- All phenothiazine antipsychotics are available in oral tablet form.
- Prochlorperazine also is available as a rectal suppository.
- Fluphenazine and mesoridazine are available as injections.
- Fluphenazine and mesoridazine are available in oral liquid form.
What about taking phenothiazine antipsychotics during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Safe and effective use of phenothiazine antipsychotics during pregnancy has not been established. Newborns exposed to phenothiazine antipsychotics are at risk for extrapyramidal and withdrawal symptoms following delivery. Phenothiazine antipsychotics should only be used if clearly needed when benefits outweigh potential risks to the fetus.
Phenothiazine antipsychotics may enter breast milk; therefore, they should be used with caution in women who are breastfeeding. To avoid potential risks to the newborn, a decision should be made whether to discontinue the drug or to discontinue nursing.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Phenothiazine antipsychotics are prescription drugs prescribed to treat schizophrenia manifistations of psychotic disorders. Some phenothiazine antipsychotics are prescribed to treat nausea, vomiting, and hiccups. Common side effects include drowiness, headache, low blood pressure, blurred vision, and dizziness. Warnings, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking phenothiazine antipsychotics.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Bipolar Disorder (Mania) Quiz: Test Your Emotional Wellness IQ
Who is at risk for developing bipolar disorder? Are you? Take this Bipolar Disorder Quiz to learn more about bipolar disorder, if...
Schizophrenia Quiz: What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder. Learn more about the challenges of mental illness with the Schizophrenia Quiz.
Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Testing for Bipolar Depression
Bipolar disorder (once called manic depression) causes extreme mood shifts and can be disorienting. Our experts define bipolar...
Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
What is schizophrenia? Learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment. Read about schizophrenia types such as paranoid...
Related Disease Conditions
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.
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment may incorporate mood-stabilizer medications, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
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.
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Brief psychotic disorder is a short-term mental illness that features psychotic symptoms. There are three forms of brief psychotic disorder. The first occurs shortly after a major stress, the second has no apparent trauma that triggers the illness, and the third is associated with postpartum onset. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, unusual behavior, disorientation, changes in eating and sleeping, and speech that doesn't make sense. Treatment typically involves medication and psychotherapy.
Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, substance-induced psychotic disorder, paraphrenia, and psychotic disorders due to medical conditions.
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens
Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, is a disorder that causes unusual and extreme mood changes. Symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and teens include having trouble concentrating, behaving in risky ways, and losing interest in activities they once enjoyed. Treatment for bipolar disorder in children and teenagers incorporates psychotherapy and medications.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by odd behaviors, feelings, perceptions, and ways of relating to others that interfere with one's ability to function. Medication and psychotherapy can help the sufferer to manage their symptoms.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
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.