Thorazine

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Thorazine Brand Name(s): Thorazine, Thorazine and Thorazine.

Uses

What is Thorazine® (chlorpromazine) used for?

Thorazine® 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.

It is also used with other medicines to treat symptoms associated with tetanus. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Thorazine® is a phenothiazine. The exact way Thorazine® works is not known.

How should I take Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)?

Use Thorazine® as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

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

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

Thorazine® may irritate skin. Avoid contact with skin or clothing. Wear rubber gloves while using Thorazine.

Do not suddenly stop taking Thorazine®.

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 Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)?

Thorazine® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Thorazine® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Thorazine® 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 Thorazine® 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 Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Thorazine® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have developed severe side effects (e.g., blood problems, yellowing of the skin or eyes) while taking another phenothiazine (e.g., thioridazine).
  • You 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), or an adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma).
  • You have asthma, a lung infection, or other lung or breathing problems (e.g., emphysema); or increased pressure in the eyes or glaucoma, or if you are at risk of glaucoma.
  • You have Alzheimer disease, dementia, Parkinson disease, or Reye syndrome.
  • You have had high blood prolactin levels or a history of certain types of cancer (e.g., breast, pancreas, pituitary, brain), or if you are at risk of breast cancer.
  • 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.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Thorazine® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Thorazine®. Thorazine® 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 Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)?

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; difficulty breathing; 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 Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)?

Thorazine® 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.

Does food or alcohol interact with Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)?

Thorazine® 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 Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)?

Thorazine® 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.

Dosage

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

What is the dose of Thorazine® (chlorpromazine) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Mania

HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS:

Acute Schizophrenia/Manic States:

Oral:

  • Usual dose: 500 mg/day orally
  • Maximum dose: 2000 mg/day

Parenteral:

  • Usual dose: 25 mg IM once, with a subsequent 25 to 50 mg injection in 1 hour if necessary.
  • Maintenance dose: 400 mg IM every 4 to 6 hours until the patient is controlled.

Prompt Control of Severe Symptoms:

Oral: Usual dose: After an initial IM dose, 25 to 50 mg orally 3 times a day.

Parenteral: Usual dose: 25 mg IV once, repeated in 1 hour if necessary.

Less Acutely Disturbed:

Oral:

  • Initial dose: 25 mg orally 3 times a day
  • Usual dose: 400 mg/day

OUTPATIENTS:

  • Oral: Usual dose: 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day OR 25 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day
  • More Severe Cases:
  • Oral: Usual dose: 25 mg orally 3 times a day, increasing by 20 to 50 mg at semiweekly intervals until the patient is calm and cooperative.

Usual Adult Dose for Psychosis

HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS:

Acute Schizophrenia/Manic States:

Oral:

  • Usual dose: 500 mg/day orally
  • Maximum dose: 2000 mg/day

Parenteral:

  • Usual dose: 25 mg IM once, with a subsequent 25 to 50 mg injection in 1 hour if necessary
  • Maintenance dose: 400 mg IM every 4 to 6 hours until the patient is controlled

Prompt Control of Severe Symptoms:

Oral: Usual dose: After an initial IM dose, 25 to 50 mg orally 3 times a day.

Parenteral: Usual dose: 25 mg IV once, repeated in 1 hour if necessary.

Less Acutely Disturbed:

Oral:

  • Initial dose: 25 mg orally 3 times a day
  • Usual dose: 400 mg/day

OUTPATIENTS:

Oral: Usual dose: 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day OR 25 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day

More Severe Cases:

Oral: Usual dose: 25 mg orally 3 times a day, increasing by 20 to 50 mg at semiweekly intervals until the patient is calm and cooperative

Usual Adult Dose for Schizophrenia

HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS:

Acute Schizophrenia/Manic States:

Oral:

  • Usual dose: 500 mg/day orally
  • Maximum dose: 2000 mg/day

Parenteral:

  • Usual dose: 25 mg IM once, with a subsequent 25 to 50 mg injection in 1 hour if necessary
  • Maintenance dose: 400 mg IM every 4 to 6 hours until the patient is controlled

Prompt Control of Severe Symptoms:

Oral: Usual dose: After an initial IM dose, 25 to 50 mg orally 3 times a day

Parenteral: Usual dose: 25 mg IV once, repeated in 1 hour if necessary

Less Acutely Disturbed:

Oral:

  • Initial dose: 25 mg orally 3 times a day
  • Usual dose: 400 mg/day

OUTPATIENTS:

Oral: Usual dose: 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day OR 25 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day

More Severe Cases:

Oral: Usual dose: 25 mg orally 3 times a day, increasing by 20 to 50 mg at semiweekly intervals until the patient is calm and cooperative

Usual Adult Dose for Nausea/Vomiting

Oral: Usual dose: 10 to 25 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed for nausea/vomiting.

Parenteral: Usual dose: 25 mg IM once. If hypotension does not occur, administer 25 to 50 mg IM every 3 to 4 hours as needed until vomiting stops, and then patients should be switched to oral formulations.

Nausea/Vomiting During Surgery:

IM: Usual dose: 12.5 mg IM, repeated in 30 minutes as needed AND in the absence of hypotension

IV:

  • Usual dose: 2 mg IV every 2 minutes, diluted to 1 mg/mL
  • Maximum IV dose: 25 mg

Usual Adult Dose for Light Sedation

Oral: Usual dose: 25 to 50 mg orally 2 to 3 hours before the operation

Parenteral: Usual dose: 12.5 to 25 mg IM 1 to 2 hours before the operation

Usual Adult Dose for Hiccups

Oral: Usual dose: 25 to 50 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day

Parenteral:

  • If symptoms persist after 2 to 3 days with oral therapy: 25 to 50 mg IM once
  • Symptoms that persist after IM administration: 25 to 50 mg slow IV infusion in 500 to 1000 mL of saline

Usual Adult Dose for Porphyria

Oral: Usual dose: 25 to 50 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day

Parenteral: Usual dose: 25 mg IM 3 to 4 times a day, continued until the patient is able to take oral formulations

Usual Adult Dose for Tetanus

Parenteral:

IM: Usual dose: 25 to 50 mg IM 3 to 4 times a day, usually with barbiturates

IV: Usual dose: 25 to 50 mg IV, diluted to at least 1 mg/mL and given at a rate of 1 mg/min

What is the dose of Thorazine® (chlorpromazine) for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Aggressive Behavior

6 months to 12 years:

INPATIENTS:

Severe Behavior Disorders:

  • Usual dose: 50 to 100 mg/day orally or IM (younger patients); at least 200 mg/day orally or IM (older patients)
  • Maximum IM dose: 40 mg/day (up to 5 years OR 22.7 kg); 75 mg/day (5 to 12 years OR 22.7 to 45.5 kg)

OUTPATIENTS:

Oral:

  • Usual dose: 0.55 mg/kg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed
  • Parenteral:
  • Usual dose: 0.55 mg/kg IM every 6 to 8 hours as needed

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nausea/Vomiting

Oral: Usual dose: 0.55 mg/kg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed

Parenteral:

  • Usual dose: 0.55 mg/kg IM every 6 to 8 hours as needed
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg/day (up to 22.7 kg); 75 mg/day (22.7 to 45.5 kg)

Nausea/Vomiting During Surgery:

IM: Usual dose: 0.275 mg/kg IM, repeated in 30 minutes as needed AND in the absence of hypotension

IV:

  • Usual dose: 1 mg IV every 2 minutes, diluted to 1 mg/mL
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg/day (up to 22.7 kg); 75 mg/day (22.7 to 45.5 kg)

Usual Pediatric Dose for Light Sedation

Oral: Usual dose: 0.55 mg/kg orally 2 to 3 hours before the operation

Parenteral: Usual dose: 0.55 mg/kg IM 1 to 2 hours before the operation

Usual Pediatric Dose for Tetanus

6 months to 12 years:

Parenteral:

IM:

  • Usual dose: 0.55 mg/kg IM every 6 to 8 hours
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg/day (up to 22.7 kg); 75 mg/day (22.7 to 45.5 kg)

IV:

  • Usual dose: 0.55 mg/kg IV, diluted to at least 1 mg/mL and given at a rate of 0.5 mg/min
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg/day (up to 22.7 kg); 75 mg/day (22.7 to 45.5 kg)

How is Thorazine® (chlorpromazine) available?

Thorazine® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Injection

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 Thorazine®, 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: August 4, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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