Generic Name: Chlorpromazine hydrochloride Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is chlorpromazine hydrochloride used for?

Chlorpromazine is a phenothiazine. It is commonly used for treating certain mental or mood disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), the manic phase of manic-depressive disorder, anxiety and restlessness before surgery, the blood disease porphyria, severe behavioral and conduct disorders in children, nausea and vomiting, and severe hiccups.

Chlorpromazine hydrochloride is also used with other medicines to treat symptoms associated with tetanus. It may also be used for other conditions, ask your doctor for more information.

How should I take chlorpromazine hydrochloride?

Chlorpromazine is usually given as an injection at your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using chlorpromazine at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use chlorpromazine. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.

Do not use chlorpromazine if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.

Chlorpromazine may irritate skin. Avoid contact with skin or clothing. Wear rubber gloves while using chlorpromazine.

Do not suddenly stop taking chlorpromazine.

Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.

How do I store chlorpromazine hydrochloride?

Chlorpromazine hydrochloride is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store chlorpromazine hydrochloride in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of chlorpromazine hydrochloride that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush chlorpromazine hydrochloride down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using chlorpromazine hydrochloride?

Before using chlorpromazine, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in chlorpromazine or to other phenothiazines (e.g., thioridazine).
  • You have severe drowsiness.
  • You have recently taken large amounts of alcohol or medicines that may cause drowsiness, such as barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital) or narcotic pain medicines (e.g., codeine).
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.
  • You have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.
  • You have developed severe side effects (e.g., blood problems, yellowing of the skin or eyes) while taking another phenothiazine (e.g., thioridazine).
  • You are in poor health or are regularly exposed to extreme heat or certain insecticides (organophosphorus insecticides).
  • You have a history of alcohol abuse, drink alcohol, or are in alcohol withdrawal.
  • You will be having or have recently had a myelogram (x-ray of the spinal cord).
  • You take any medicine that may increase the risk of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase the risk of this type of irregular heartbeat.

Chlorpromazine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use chlorpromazine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.

Chlorpromazine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.

Do not take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.

Do not drink alcohol while you are using chlorpromazine.

Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (e.g., sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using chlorpromazine; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.

Tell your doctor or dentist that you take chlorpromazine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using chlorpromazine hydrochloride during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking chlorpromazine hydrochloride. Chlorpromazine hydrochloride is pregnancy risk category N, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from chlorpromazine hydrochloride?

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:

  • Agitation
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Jitteriness
  • Nausea
  • Stuffy nose

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

  • Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; tightness in the chest or throat; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness; wheezing)
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Decreased coordination
  • Drooling
  • Fainting
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Mask-like face
  • Muscle spasms of the face, neck, or back
  • Muscle weakness
  • New or worsening mental or mood problems
  • Numbness of an arm or leg
  • Prolonged or painful erection
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent constipation
  • Severe or persistent dizziness, drowsiness, or headache
  • Shuffling walk
  • Sleeplessness
  • Stiff or rigid muscles
  • Sudden shortness of breath or vomiting
  • Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
  • Symptoms of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat)
  • Symptoms of liver problems (e.g., yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark urine; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, stomach pain, or loss of appetite)
  • Tremor
  • Trouble urinating
  • Twisting or twitching movements
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements (e.g., twitching of the face or tongue; loss of balance; uncontrolled movements of arms or legs; trouble speaking, breathing, or swallowing)
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Unusual eye movements or inability to move eyes
  • Unusual or excessive sweating
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Unusually pale skin
  • Vision changes (e.g., blurred vision)

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with chlorpromazine hydrochloride?

Chlorpromazine hydrochloride may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Especially, you are taking amiodarone, bretylium, astemizole, cabergoline, cisapride, dofetilide, metoclopramide, pergolide, quinidine, sotalol, terfenadine, or tramadol.

Does food or alcohol interact with chlorpromazine hydrochloride?

Chlorpromazine hydrochloride may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with chlorpromazine hydrochloride?

Chlorpromazine hydrochloride may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

  • A history of heart problems (e.g., angina, mitral valve problems)
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Blood problems (e.g., anemia)
  • Bone marrow problems (e.g., low white blood cell count)
  • Diabetes
  • Liver problems (e.g., cirrhosis)
  • Kidney problems
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)
  • Tardive dyskinesia (TD)
  • An enlarged prostate gland
  • Seizures
  • Trouble urinating
  • Mental or mood problems (e.g., depression)
  • An adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma)
  • Asthma
  • A lung infection, or other lung or breathing problems (e.g., emphysema)
  • Increased pressure in the eyes or glaucoma
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson disease
  • Reye syndrome
  • High blood prolactin levels
  • A history of certain types of cancer (e.g., breast, pancreas, pituitary, brain)
  • Breast cancer

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using chlorpromazine hydrochloride.

What is the dose of chlorpromazine hydrochloride for an adult?

Schizophrenia, Psychotic disorders

Orally, the recommended dose is 30-75 mg/day divided q6-12hr initially; maintenance: usually 200 mg/day (up to 800 mg/day in some patients; some patients may require 1-2 g/day).

IV/IM, the recommended dose is 25 mg initially, followed PRN with 25-50 mg after 1-4 hours, then increased to maximum of 400 mg q4-6hr until patient is controlled; usual dosage 300-800 mg/day.

Nausea and vomiting

Orally, the recommended dose is 10-25 mg q4-6hr PRN.

IV/IM, the recommended dose is 25-50 mg q4-6hr PRN.

Preoperative Apprehension

Orally, the recommended dose is 25-50 mg 2-3 hours before surgery.

12.5-25 mg IM is recommended 1-2 hours before surgery.

Intraoperative Sedation

The recommended dose is 12.5 IM q30min or 2 mg IV q2min; total dose not to exceed 25 mg.

Intractable Hiccups

The recommended dose is 25-50 mg PO q6-8hr; if hiccups persist after 2-3 days of oral therapy, administer 25-50 mg IM q3-4hr; if symptoms persist, administer 25-50 mg by slow IV infusion with patient lying flat in bed; monitor BP.

Acute Intermittent Porphyria

The recommended dose is 25-50 mg PO q6-8hr.

Migraine Headache (Off-label)

The recommended dose is 5-50 mg IV as single dose.

What is the dose of chlorpromazine hydrochloride for a child?

Behavioral Disorders, Hyperactivity

<6 months: Safety and efficacy not established.

>6 months: The recommended dose is 50-100 mg/day PO/IM; 200 mg/day or more may be necessary for older hospitalized patients; for outpatients, may administer 0.55 mg/kg q4-6hr PRN.

Nausea and vomiting

<6 months: Safety and efficacy not established.

>6 months: The recommended dose is 0.5-1 mg/kg PO/IM q6-8hr PRN.

Preoperative Apprehension

<6 months: Safety and efficacy not established.

>6 months: The recommended dose is 0.55 mg/kg PO/IM 1-2 hours before surgery.

How is chlorpromazine hydrochloride available?

Chlorpromazine hydrochloride is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Chlorpromazine tablet 10mg
  • Chlorpromazine tablet 25mg
  • Chlorpromazine tablet 50mg
  • Chlorpromazine tablet 100mg
  • Chlorpromazine tablet 200mg
  • Chlorpromazine injectable solution 25mg/ml

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of chlorpromazine hydrochloride, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 5, 2017 | Last Modified: April 5, 2017

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