This medicine contains as active ingredient chlorpromazine, a phenothiazine derivative. Phenothiazines are a family of medicines used to treat nervous, mental, and emotional conditions.
It is thought that some forms of mental illness are caused by an increase of communication between nerve cells due to overactivity of one of more chemical messengers or neurotransmitters; in most cases of psychosis the activity level of one of these neurotransmitters, dopamine, is disregulated, but other chemical messengers, such as noradrenaline, may also show variations in their activity level.
Because a person with a psychotic illness may recover spontaneously, a drug will not always be prescribed immediately. Long-term treatment is only started when normal life is seriously interfered with. Antipsychotic drugs do not cure the underlying disorder, but they can restore normal behavior.
The drug given to a particular individual depends on the nature of his or her illness and the side effects experienced. Drugs differ in the amount of sedation that they produce; the need for sedation also influences the choice.
This medicine is prescribed for:
• Psychotic disorders
• Moderate to severe depression with anxiety or agitation
• Aggressiveness in disturbed children
Before using this medicine
Before you use this medicine check with your doctor, or pharmacist:
• if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to phenothiazine medicines.
• if you are on a low-salt, low-sugar, or any other special diet, or if you are allergic to any substance, such as sulfites or other preservatives or dyes.
• if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine. Although phenothiazines have not been shown to cause birth defects, some side effects such as jaundice and muscle tremors have occurred in a few newborns whose mothers received phenothiazines during pregnancy.
• if you are breast-feeding an infant. Although this medicine has not been shown to cause problems in humans the chance does exist since some phenothiazines are known to pass into the breast milk.
• if you have any of the following medical problems:
Heart or blood vessel disease
Liver or lung disease
Cautions and Warnings
• Do not take this drug if you are allergic or sensitive to any of its ingredients or to any phenothiazine drug.
• Do not take it if you have:
• Very low blood pressure
• Parkinson’s disease
• Blood disease
• Liver disease
• Kidney disorder
• Heart disease
• Take this drug under your doctor’s strict supervision if you have:
• Urinary difficulty
• Avoid exposure to extreme heat, because this drug may upset your body’s temperature-control mechanism.
• This medication is prescribed to treat the symptoms of certain types of mental illness or emotional problems.
• Usual dosage The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regime.
Adults: 30-500 mg or more a day; individualized according to your disease and response. Children: 0.25 mg per lb. of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to 200 mg a day, depending on disease, age, and response.
• In order to avoid stomach irritation, you can take the tablet or capsule forms of this medication with a meal or with a glass of water or milk (unless your doctor or pharmacist directs you to do otherwise).
Along with the needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Minor side effects are:
• Tell your doctor about any side effects that are persistent or particularly bothersome. It is especially important to tell your doctor about:
Difficulty in swallowing
Yellowing of the eyes or skin
• This drug may cause an unusual increase in psychotic symptoms or may cause paranoid reactions, tiredness, lethargy, restlessness, hyperactivity, confusion at night, bizarre dreams, depression and decreased sex drive.
This medicine may interact with several other drugs such as barbiturates, sleeping pills, narcotics, other tranquillizers, or any other medication that may produce a sedative effect. Avoid alcohol.
Driving or Hazardous Work
Do not drive until you learn how the medicine affects you. Do not work around dangerous machinery. Do not climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicines affecting alertness and reflexes.
Overdose symptoms include:
• Extreme weakness
• Lowered blood pressure
• Uncontrolled muscle spasms
• Abnormal heart rhythms
The victim should be taken to a hospital emergency room immediately.
Store this medication as directed on the label. Keep out of the reach of children.