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Chlorpromazine

Uses

This drug is prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, unusual behavioral problems and other psychotic disorders.

IUPAC name: 3-(2-chloro phenothiazine-10-yl)-N,N-dimethylpropan-1-amine

Drug class: Typical antipsychotics; Phenothiazine

Route of administration: Oral, intravenous, intramuscular, rectal

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Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This medication works by inhibiting the activity of a neurotransmitter (dopamine) in the brain and helps to enhance thoughts, feelings, moods, and behavior.

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, dry mouth, constipation, weight gain, unsteadiness, agitation, sleeping problems, fatigue, nausea, vision problems, and increased prolactin level.

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to it or to other antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drugs, or if you have any other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

If you have a history of hepatic disease, kidney problems, cardiac disease (arrhythmia, angina, heart attack), hypotension (low blood pressure), glaucoma, seizures, lung/breathing problems, breast cancer, blood cell disorders ( anemia, leukemia, bone marrow depression, thrombocytopenia), enlarged prostate gland, pheochromocytoma, Parkinson’s disease, drug or alcohol abuse, 

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Since this drug increases your sensitivity to the sun, avoid spending time outside in the sun while taking it.

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

Chlorpromazine may increase the risk of QT prolongation if you have certain cardiac diseases (bradycardia, heart failure, or QT prolongation).

 If you have low blood levels of magnesium, potassium, or sodium, you may be more likely to experience QT prolongation (extended intervals between cardiac contraction and relaxation) when taking this medication 

This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults with dementia.

Avoid activities that can cause you to overheat while taking this medication.

If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor. Using this drug in the last trimester of pregnancy is not recommended since it might harm the unborn child.

Consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

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