Stelazine (Trifluoperazine)

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What is Stelazine (Trifluoperazine) prescribed for?

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe mental disorder that affects people in everything they do. In how they think, act, express emotions, perceive reality and relate to others. And while it is not as common as other major mental illnesses, it can be the most chronic and disabling of them all. People who suffer from this disability often have problems doing well in society, work, school and in relationships. They may feel frightened and withdrawn, and could at times appear to have lost touch with reality.

This medication is used as a treatment towards Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Taking this medication can help you think more clearly, fee less nervous and take part in everyday life.  It can also reduce aggressive behavior and any desire to hurt yourself or others. And it may decrease hallucinations.

Trifluoperazine is a psychiatric medication that belongs to the class of drugs called phenothiazine antipsychotics. And it works by restoring the balance of a certain natural substance within the brain.

This medication is taken by mouth, and can be taken with or without food. Usually taken once or twice a day, or as directed to you by your doctor. Remember those dosage is based on your medical condition and your response to treatment.

Although you may notice some medication effects soon after starting, it may take 2 to 3 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shakiness. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Trifluoperazine; or to other phenothiazines (such as chlorpromazine, perphenazine); or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

You should also let your doctor know of all of your medical history. Especially if you have ever dealt with any of these experiences in the past; liver problems, kidney problems, heart problems (such as mitral valve insufficiency, abnormal heart rhythm, angina), low blood pressure, blockage of the intestines, glaucoma, seizures, enlarged prostate, breathing problems (such as severe asthma, emphysema, lung infections), blood disorders (such as bone marrow depression, low red/white/platelet blood cell counts), low levels of calcium in the blood, loss of too much body water (dehydration), breast cancer, brain disorder/tumor/injury, exposure to organophosphate insecticides, pheochromocytoma, drug/alcohol/substance abuse, Parkinson's disease.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

This medication may make you sweat less, making you more likely to get heat stroke. Avoid doing things that may cause you to overheat, such as hard work or exercise in hot weather, or using hot tubs. When the weather is hot, drink a lot of fluids and dress lightly. If you overheat, quickly look for a place to cool down and rest. Get medical help right away if you have a fever that does not go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness.

While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, blurred vision, tiredness, constipation, weight gain, and trouble sleeping may occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.

This drug may cause muscle/nervous system problems (extrapyramidal symptoms-EPS). Your doctor may prescribe another medication to decrease these side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of the following side effects: feelings of anxiety/agitation/jitteriness, drooling/trouble swallowing, restlessness/constant need to move, shaking (tremor), shuffling walk, stiff muscles, severe muscle spasms/cramping (such as twisting neck, arching back, eyes rolling up), mask-like expression of the face.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: difficulty urinating, decreased cough reflex, swelling of the feet/ankles, butterfly-shaped rash on nose and cheeks, joint pain, skin discoloration, eye/vision changes, feeling unusually cold or hot.

Infrequently, this medication may cause face/muscle twitching and uncontrollable movements (tardive dyskinesia). In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any uncontrollable movements such as lip smacking, mouth puckering, tongue thrusting, chewing, or unusual arm/leg movements.

In rare cases, trifluoperazine may increase your level of a certain chemical made by the body (prolactin). For females, this increase in prolactin may result in unwanted breast milk, missed/stopped periods, or difficulty becoming pregnant. For males, it may result in decreased sexual ability, inability to produce sperm, or enlarged breasts. If you develop any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.

Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention, or permanent problems could occur.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: signs of liver problems (such as yellowing eyes/skin, persistent nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain), signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, signs of anemia (such as severe tiredness, fast breathing, pale skin, fast heartbeat), mental/mood changes (such as worsening psychosis, unresponsive/catatonic state).

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: slowed breathing, chest pain, seizures.

This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness, severe tiredness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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