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Chlorpromazine (By mouth)

Chlorpromazine (klor-PROE-ma-zeen)

Treats bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, tetanus, porphyria, severe hiccups, and severe nausea and vomiting. Also used to reduce anxiety before surgery. This medicine is a phenothiazine.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to chlorpromazine or any other phenothiazine drug.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Long Acting Capsule, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Do not crush or chew the tablet or capsule.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Many other drugs can interact with chlorpromazine. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you are taking, including the following:
    • A blood thinner, such as warfarin
    • Blood pressure medicine, such as atenolol, guanethidine, metoprolol, propranolol
    • Diuretics (water pills), such as hydrochlorothiazide
    • Lithium
    • Medicine to treat muscle spasms, such as atropine
    • Seizure medicine
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have asthma, emphysema, breast cancer, trouble urinating, glaucoma, seizures, or a bone marrow or blood disorder. Tell your doctor if you have heart, kidney, or liver disease, or lupus.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness or affect your sight. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
    • Tardive dyskinesia
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Drowsiness or dizziness, confusion
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Jerky muscle movement you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw)
  • Seizures

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Agitation, restlessness, or insomnia
  • Weakness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 11/4/2014
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