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Chlorpromazine - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Chlorpromazine: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Chlorpromazine?

Chlorpromazine is a tranquilizer, antipsychotic and antiemetic drug used to treat several mental disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar condition, etc.). It is also used to treat chronic hiccups, acute intermittent porphyria, nausea and vomiting in adults, anxiety before surgery, and symptoms of tetanus. It belongs to a class of antipsychotics, marketed under the brand names Thorazine and Largactil. Chemically, it belongs to phenothiazines. Its mechanism of action is not known; however, it may act by blocking dopamine antagonists. It also has anti-serotonergic and antihistaminergic properties (anti-allergic). Chlorpromazine acts at all levels, on the central nervous system, mainly at subcortical levels, and on multiple organ systems.

What are the uses of Chlorpromazine?

Some uses and benefits of Chlorpromazine                     

  • Short-term treatment of severe anxiety, agitation, or sudden dangerous behavior.
  • Treats Autism in children.
  • Bipolar mental disorder.
  • Used in the treatment of prolonged hiccups.
  • Used in the treatment of nausea associated with advanced or terminal illnesses.
  • An adjunct in the treatment of tetanus.
  • Treatment of extreme behavioral problems in children (1 to 12 years of age) showing combativeness and/or explosive hyperexcitable behavior (out of control to immediate provocations).
  • Short-term treatment of hyperactive children who exhibit excessive motor activity and other disorders show aggression, mood lability, and show intolerance to frustration.
  • Used to treat schizophrenia (a mental disorder) and other psychotic disorders. 
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What are the side effects of Chlorpromazine?

You must take this medication as prescribed by the physician in its recommended dosage. It is highly soluble in lipids and stored in body fats; thus, its removal from the body is prolonged. 

Some side effects of Chlorpromazine tablets include:

  • Dizziness, feeling unsteady, or trouble keeping your balance.
  • Agitation.
  • Restlessness.
  • Shuffling walk.
  • Unusual slowed or uncontrollable movements of any body part.
  • Widening or narrowing of the pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes).
  • Dry mouth.
  • Decreased sexual ability.
  • Breast enlargement.
  • Weight gain.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Nervousness.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Breast milk production.
  • Changes in skin color.
  • Difficulty urinating.
Watch out for the following severe symptoms: 
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Neck cramps.
  • Sweating.
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Tightness in the throat.
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Worm-like tongue movements.
  • Uncontrollable, rhythmic face, mouth, or jaw movements.
  • Confusion.
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat.
  • Seizures.
  • Blisters.
  • Rash.
  • Hives.
  • Itching.
  • Fever.
In case of severe side effects experienced, consult Yashoda Hospitals. 

Dosages

Chlorpromazine, taken orally, is usually taken two to four times a day. The dosage depends on the type of disease or condition being treated. Follow the directions on the prescription label carefully and take Chlorpromazine precisely as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may start with a low dose and gradually increase. Subsequently, they may then decrease the dose once your condition is under control.

For more information on the dosages and precautions necessary for Chlorpromazine, contact our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals. 

Precautions

Some of the precautions to be taken before or after being prescribed Chlorpromazine include:

  • If you have to undergo surgery, even dental surgery, inform the doctor or dentist that you are taking Chlorpromazine.
  • If you are taking a myelogram (x-ray examination of the spine), tell your doctor and the radiographer that you are taking Chlorpromazine. Your doctor might tell you not to take Chlorpromazine for 2-days before and one day after the myelogram.
  • This medication causes drowsiness and affects your thinking and movements. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive a car.
  • Avoid unnecessary or long-term exposure to sunlight. If you still have to go out, wear protective clothing,  sunglasses, and sunscreen. Chlorpromazine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Chlorpromazine and other phenothiazines such as fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, thioridazine, and any other medications.
  • Chlorpromazine should be used with caution in patients with cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Ask your doctor about the proper use of alcohol during your treatment with Chlorpromazine. Alcohol can worsen the side effects of Chlorpromazine.
S.no Product Name Dosage Form
1. Chlorpromazine Chlorpromazine 50mg/100mg Tablet
2. CPZ Chlorpromazine Hydrochloride 50mg/100mg Tablet
3. Trinicalm forte Benzhexol hydrochloride 2mg+chlorpromazine hydrochloride 50mg+trifluoperazine hydrochloride 5mg Tablet
4. Prozine Chlorpromazine 100mg Tablet
5. Relitil Chlorpromazine 25mg Injection

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Chlorpromazine

1. How does Chlorpromazine work?

Chlorpromazine, also known as first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs). It is a member of the antipsychotic or neuroleptic drug class. Its antipsychotic effect is because of the postsynaptic blockade at the D2 receptors in the mesolimbic pathway. It obstructs postsynaptic dopamine receptors in the cortical and limbic areas, preventing dopamine overactivity in the brain. This finally brings about an antipsychotic effect.

2. Does Chlorpromazine help you to sleep?

Chlorpromazine reduces irregular wakefulness in between sleep. Total rapid eye movement time increases with the increase in actual sleep. Studies have shown Chlorpromazine, when taken, induces ‘soundness’ of sleep and relaxes the brain. Chlorpromazine taken during bedtime showed a significant increase in actual sleep time.

3. Is Chlorpromazine a controlled substance?

Chlorpromazine is not a controlled substance. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA), FDA, has not classified the drug as harmful, even during pregnancy. Controlled substances include opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids. Chlorpromazine is not included in this group.

4. What is the brand name of Chlorpromazine?

Chlormazine is sold under many different brands. In India, some of the brand names under which Chlormazine is sold are Seracti, Sun Prazin, Parkin Forte, Megatil, Clozine Plus, Cain, Chlorzen Plus, Clozine Forte, Emetil, Lacalm Forte, Neocalm Forte, Psyzine Plus, Relicalm Forte, and Relitil.

5. Is Chlorpromazine a sedative?

Yes, Chlorpromazine, a potent sedative, acts on the central nervous system. It is used to treat people with psychotic disorders. Chlorpromazine 100 mg is equal to lorazepam 2 mg (a prescribed sedative drug). The sedative effect is due to the blockade of histamine H1 receptors. These synthetic sedative drugs act selectively on the higher centers in the brain as depressants.

6. Is Chlorpromazine an antihistamine?

Chlorpromazine also acts as an antihistamine drug (used to treat allergic reactions). Initially, Chlorpromazine was used primarily as an antihistamine drug. Later, other uses of histamine were observed. Now it is more useful as an antipsychotic drug than as an anti-allergic drug. Hence, today it is used to treat mental disorders rather than mitigate allergies.

7. How effective is Chlorpromazine?

Chlorpromazine is more potent for controlling excitement and agitation than any other, such as morphine and scopolamine (hyoscine) combinations. It relieves psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations. Chloramphenicol is effective when given through the skin or orally. (80% effective) and it penetrates tissue well. 30% – 50% of the serum concentration can be observed in the CSF, and therapeutic levels are also achieved in pleural, ascitic, and synovial fluids.

8. Is Chlorpromazine a benzodiazepine?

Benzodiazepines, otherwise called ‘benzos’, are a class of psychoactive substances with a core chemical structure consisting of a fused benzene ring and a diazepine ring. As depressants, the drugs lower brain activity; hence, they treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Chlorpromazine, also a benzodiazepine, is used to treat the same.

9. Is Chlorpromazine good for anxiety?

Chlorpromazine is an antipsychotic medication used to treat anxiety, mania, psychosis, and schizophrenia. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain. Chlorpromazine is a ‘first-generation antipsychotic’ drug (sometimes known as a ‘conventional antipsychotic’). An antipsychotic medicine adjusts the levels of dopamine and other chemicals present in the brain. Chlorpromazine lowers dopamine activity when it is too high, helping in conditions like hallucinations.

10. Do you take Chlorpromazine on an empty stomach?

Chlorpromazine can be taken before or after meals. Even when taken on an empty stomach, it does not irritate gastric walls. Take this medication orally with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2-4 times daily. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment.

Consult our experts at Yashoda Hospitals to know more about the uses, dosages and precautions, and the side effects of Chlorpromazine.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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