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What is this medication?

Antimanic Agent, Antipsychotic (First-Generation)

Chlorpromazine is indicated for management of agitation/aggression associated with psychiatric disorders, bipolar disorder, hyperactivity, nausea and vomiting, schizophrenia.

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death.  Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (i.e. heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (i.e. pneumonia) in nature.  Chlorpromazine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

How does this medication work? 

Chlorpromazine is an aliphatic phenothiazine antipsychotic which blocks postsynaptic mesolimbic dopaminergic receptors in the brain; exhibits a strong alpha-adrenergic blocking effect and depresses the release of hypothalamic and hypophyseal hormones; believed to depress the reticular activating system, thus affecting basal metabolism, body temperature, wakefulness, vasomotor tone, and emesis.

How should I take this medication? 

Oral: Take 75mg to 800mg daily.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting Chlorpromazine, make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take.  Chlorpromazine can cause changes in cardiac conduction resulting in life-threatening arrhythmias, anticholinergic effects (i.e. constipation, dry mouth and eyes, urinary retention, blurred vision), blood dyscrasias (i.e. leukopenia, neutropenia and agranulocytosis), central nervous system depression, esophageal dysmotility, extrapyramidal symptoms (i.e acute dystonic reactions, akathisia, tardive dyskinesia), hyperprolactinemia, hypotension, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, photosensitivity, temperature dysregulation.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

ECG abnormality (non-specific QT changes), orthostatic hypotension, syncope, tachycardia, brain edema, catatonic-like state, dizziness, drowsiness, dystonia, extrapyramidal reaction, hyperpyrexia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, parkinsonism, psychotic symptoms, restlessness, tardive dyskinesia, tardive dystonia, contact dermatitis, cutaneous lupus erythematosus, skin photosensitivity, skin pigmentation (slate gray), weight gain, constipation, increased appetite, nausea, obstipation, paralytic ileus, xerostomia, breast engorgement, ejaculatory disorder, false positive pregnancy test, impotence, lactation, priapism, urinary retention, jaundice, lupus-like syndrome, corneal deposits, lens disease, miosis, mydriasis, visual impairment, nasal congestion, low fever.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Chlorpromazine, only common ones.