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All about: Prolixin

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Generic Name: fluphenazine (floo FEN a zeen)
Brand Names: Permitil, Prolixin

What is Prolixin (fluphenazine)?

Fluphenazine is in a class of drugs called phenothiazines. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.

Fluphenazine is used to treat psychotic disorders.

Fluphenazine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Prolixin (fluphenazine)?

Call your doctor immediately if you have uncontrollable movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, arms, or legs. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Fluphenazine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Dizziness may be more likely to occur when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking fluphenazine. Do not mix the liquid form of this medication with coffee, cola, tea, grape, or apple juice.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Prolixin (fluphenazine)?

Before taking fluphenazine, tell your doctor if you have

  • bone marrow disease;

  • glaucoma;
  • seizures;

  • Parkinson's disease;

  • an enlarged prostate or difficulty urinating;

  • liver disease, or
  • kidney disease.

You may not be able to take fluphenazine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

It is not known whether fluphenazine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take fluphenazine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether fluphenazine passes into breast milk. Do not take fluphenazine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from fluphenazine. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take Prolixin (fluphenazine)?

Take fluphenazine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Fluphenazine can be taken with or without food.

Mix the concentrate with 4 ounces of water, orange juice, or grapefruit juice.

Do not mix the liquid with coffee, tea, cola, grape, or apple juice.

Fluphenazine is also available as an injection. Your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions regarding preparation and administration of the injection.

It is important to take fluphenazine regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not stop taking fluphenazine without first talking to your doctor. It may be several weeks before you begin to feel better, and you may require continuous treatment for quite some time. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking this medication.

Throw away any discolored liquid.

Store fluphenazine at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Store the liquid in a light-resistant container.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you take one dose of fluphenazine a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then go back to your regular schedule the next day. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

If you are taking fluphenazine on a regular schedule several times a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a fluphenazine overdose include uncontrollable movements, agitation, seizures, severe dizziness or fainting, coma, very deep sleep, irregular heartbeats, and high or low body temperature.

What should I avoid while taking Prolixin (fluphenazine)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Fluphenazine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Dizziness may be more likely to occur when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking fluphenazine. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Fluphenazine may increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when sun exposure is unavoidable.

Prolixin (fluphenazine) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking fluphenazine and seek emergency medical treatment or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • uncontrollable movements of the tongue, face, lips, arms, or legs;

  • muscle spasms of the face or neck;

  • severe restlessness or tremor;

  • severe drowsiness or fainting; or

  • a rash.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take fluphenazine and talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • decreased sweating;

  • dry mouth or a stuffy nose;

  • constipation;

  • blurred vision;

  • mild restlessness, drowsiness, or tremor;
  • difficult urination or dark urine;

  • decreased sex drive;

  • dizziness;

  • increased appetite; or

  • menstrual irregularities or swollen breasts.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Prolixin (fluphenazine)?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:

  • antacids (take antacids at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after a dose of fluphenazine);
  • blood pressure medications such as propranolol (Inderal), methyldopa (Aldomet), and clonidine (Catapres);

  • an anticoagulant (blood thinner) such as warfarin (Coumadin); or

  • phenytoin (Dilantin).

You may not be able to take fluphenazine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Fluphenazine may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), other pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Together, these medicines may cause dangerous sedation, possibly resulting in unconsciousness and death. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with fluphenazine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about fluphenazine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medicine look like?

Fluphenazine is available with a prescription generically and under the brand name Prolixin as an oral solution (liquid), tablets, and as an injection. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.05. Revision Date: 2/13/04 3:59:16 PM.

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