Drugs A - Z

Chlorpromazine Hydrochloride Oral tablet

It is used to treat certain mental and behavioral disorders

Generic Name: chlorproMAZINE

Brand Names: ChlorproMAZINE Hydrochloride, Thorazine

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 02/22/2011] ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Pregnancy section of drug labels for the entire class of antipsychotic drugs has been updated. The new drug labels now contain more and consistent information about the potential risk for abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal signs or EPS) and withdrawal symptoms in newborns whose mothers were treated with these drugs during the third trimester of pregnancy.

The symptoms of EPS and withdrawal in newborns may include agitation, abnormally increased or decreased muscle tone, tremor, sleepiness, severe difficulty breathing, and difficulty in feeding. In some newborns, the symptoms subside within hours or days and do not require specific treatment; other newborns may require longer hospital stays.

BACKGROUND: Antipsychotic drugs are used to treat symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

RECOMMENDATION: Healthcare professionals should be aware of the effects of antipsychotic medications on newborns when the medications are used during pregnancy. Patients should not stop taking these medications if they become pregnant without talking to their healthcare professional, as abruptly stopping antipsychotic medications can cause significant complications for treatment. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

[Posted 06/16/2008] FDA notified healthcare professionals that both conventional and atypical antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of mortality in elderly patients treated for dementia-related psychosis. In April 2005, FDA notified healthcare professionals that patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Since issuing that notification, FDA has reviewed additional information that indicates the risk is also associated with conventional antipsychotics. Antipsychotics are not indicated for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. The prescribing information for all antipsychotic drugs will now include the same information about this risk in a BOXED WARNING and the WARNINGS section. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web], [Web] and [Web].

What is this medicine?

CHLORPROMAZINE (klor PROE ma zeen) has many different uses. It is used to treat certain mental and behavioral disorders. It is also used to control nausea and vomiting, nervousness before surgery, and hiccups that will not go away. It is also used to treat episodes of porphyria and in combination with other medicines to treat tetanus.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • blood disorders or disease
  • dementia
  • frequently drink alcoholic beverages
  • liver disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Reye's syndrome
  • uncontrollable movement disorder
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to chlorpromazine, sulfa drugs, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice if you are to stop taking this medicine.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this medicine may be prescribed for children as young as 6 months for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • amoxapine
  • arsenic trioxide
  • certain antibiotics like gatifloxacin, grepafloxacin, sparfloxacin
  • chloroquine
  • cisapride
  • clozapine
  • droperidol
  • ephedrine
  • levomethadyl
  • maprotiline
  • medicines for mental depression
  • medicines to control irregular heart rhythms
  • phenylpropanolamine
  • pimozide
  • pindolol
  • propranolol
  • ranolazine
  • risperidone
  • trimethobenzamide
  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures, like phenobarbital
  • diuretics
  • local and general anesthetics
  • phenytoin
  • prescription pain medicines
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can increase possible dizziness or drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine can reduce the response of your body to heat or cold. Dress warm in cold weather and stay hydrated in hot weather. If possible, avoid extreme temperatures like saunas, hot tubs, very hot or cold showers, or activities that can cause dehydration such as vigorous exercise.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.


Last Updated: May 07, 2013
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