Studies have shown that older adults with dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and that may cause changes in mood and personality) who take antipsychotics (medications for mental illness) such as trifluoperazine have an increased chance of death during treatment.
Trifluoperazine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of behavior problems in older adults with dementia. Talk to the doctor who prescribed this medication if you, a family member, or someone you care for has dementia and is taking trifluoperazine. For more information, visit the FDA website: Web Site
Trifluoperazine is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Trifluoperazine is also used on a short-term basis to treat anxiety in people who have not been helped by other medications. Trifluoperazine is in a group of medications called conventional antipsychotics. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.
Trifluoperazine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken one or two times a day. Take trifluoperazine at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take trifluoperazine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of trifluoperazine and gradually increase your dose. Your doctor may decrease your dose once your symptoms are controlled.
Trifluoperazine may help control your symptoms, but it will not cure your condition. Continue to take trifluoperazine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking trifluoperazine without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking trifluoperazine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shakiness. Your doctor will probably want to decrease your dose gradually.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking trifluoperazine,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Trifluoperazine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Trifluoperazine may cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
Keep all appointments with your doctor and your eye doctor. You should have regularly scheduled eye exams during your treatment with trifluoperazine because trifluoperazine may cause eye disease.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking trifluoperazine.
Trifluoperazine may interfere with the results of home pregnancy tests. Talk to your doctor if you think you might be pregnant during your treatment with trifluoperazine. Do not try to test for pregnancy at home.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: July 15, 2017.