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Chlorpromazine

INFORMATION

Uses

Chlorpromazine is used in the treatment of schizophrenia (mental disorder in which patient interpret reality abnormally).

How it works

Chlorpromazine works by blocking the action of dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that affects thoughts and mood.

Common side effects

Nervousness, Agitation, Absence of menstrual periods, Breast enlargement, Decreased sexual function, Drowsiness, Unusual production of breast milk in women and men, Weight gain, Increased appetite, Insomnia, Lack of facial expression, Restlessness, Tremor

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

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Expert advice

  • Do not use chlorpromazine in children < 1 year unless the need is lifesaving or in children ≤12 years for the treatment of hiccups.
  • Tell your doctor before taking chlorpromazine if you are suffering from liver or kidney disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, reduced activity of thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), heart disease, raised eyeball pressure (glaucoma), diabetes, tendency to form blood clots or a family history of clotting disorder, pheochromocytoma (high blood pressure due to a tumour near the kidney), or enlarged prostate.
  • Inform your doctor if you have known cardiovascular disease or family history of QT prolongation and if you are taking medicines that may prolong the QT interval.
  • Inform your doctor of other medications that you may be taking for psychiatric disorders, lowering of blood pressure, insomnia, fits, Parkinson’s disease, migraine etc.
  • Do not stop taking chlorpromazine or change its dose without consulting your doctor.
  • Monitor blood glucose regularly while on chlorpromazine treatment, if you are a patient with diabetes
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after taking chlorpromazine as it may cause drowsiness and visual disturbances. 
  • Do not consume this drug if you are allergic to any phenothiazine drug, chlorpromazine or any of its ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions

Chlorpromazine

Q.Is chlorpromazine a benzodiazepine/sleeping tablet?
Chlorpromazine is not a benzodiazepine. It belongs to a class of medicines called phenothiazine antipsychotics. Chlorpromazine should not be used as a sleeping tablet

Q.Is it good for anxiety?
It is used in patients with schizophrenia but it relieves anxiety too at certain levels

Q.Is chlorpromazine a controlled substance/narcotic?
No. Chlorpromazine is not a controlled substance/ narcotic. However, it can be purchased only after producing a doctor's prescription

Q.Does chlorpromazine cause weight gain/sleepiness/euphoric (high)?
Yes, chlorpromazine may cause weight gain and sleepiness

Q.Is it addictive?
Chlorpromazine does not have high addictive potential and a very little propensity for abuse for euphoria

Q.Does chlorpromazine decrease dopamine?
Chlorpromazine is dopamine receptor blocker so it decreases dopamine levels to calm the patients with schizophrenia

Q.Does chlorpromazine help with opiate withdrawal?
It has been observed that chlorpromazine helps in certain cases of opiate withdrawal. However, it is not widely used for this purpose. Please follow your doctor's advice regarding its use.


Content on this page was last updated on 29 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)