Perphenazine is used primarily in the treatment of schizophrenia.

It is also used in case of severe nausea or vomiting.


What is Perphenazine?


The exact mechanism of action of Perphenazine is not yet fully understood.


How should Perphenazine be taken?


In general, Perphenazine is taken orally, with or without food. However, if its intake causes gastric irritation, it may be useful to take it on a full stomach.

In some cases, it may also be administered through intramuscular injections.


Side effects associated with Perphenazine


Perphenazine can reduce the ability to fight infection and increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun. It may also cause the so-called neuroleptic malignant syndrome, increase prolactin levels, affect the levels of blood sugar, interfere with certain laboratory tests, trigger muscle movements, and, in case of overheating, it facilitates the onset of heat stroke.


Among the other possible adverse effects are included:


  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nervousness


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if taking Perphenazine triggers any of the following symptoms:


  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of face, eyes, lips, tongue or throat
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Unusual hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Foaming in the mouth
  • Fainting
  • Rapid, irregular or slowed heart rate
  • Face feels like wearing a mask
  • Muscle spasms in the neck or back
  • Muscle weakness
  • New or worsened psychological or mood problems
  • Numbness in the legs or arms
  • Prolonged or painful erections
  • Restlessness
  • Convulsions
  • Severe or persistent constipation
  • Dizziness, drowsiness or severe or persistent headache
  • Difficulty walking
  • Insomnia
  • Stiff muscles
  • Shortness of breath or sudden vomiting
  • Swollen hands, feet or ankles
  • Infections
  • Liver problems
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Difficulty controlling muscle movements
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Strange eye movements or difficulty moving them
  • Unusual or excessive sweating
  • Fatigue or unusual weakness
  • Pallor
  • Vision problems


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Perphenazine


Perphenazine can affect the ability to drive or operate hazardous machinery. This side effect can be aggravated by alcohol or taking other medicines. Besides alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever, it can also increase dizziness caused by the medication; therefore, it is recommended to be careful when getting up quickly from a lying or sitting position, especially in the morning.


Taking Perphenazine may be contraindicated in the presence of some damage to the brain or liver, severe dizziness, blood disorders, decreased bone marrow function, in cases where large quantities of alcohol or drugs were taken that can cause drowsiness and it is also contraindicated when taking astemizole, cabergoline, cisapride, metoclopramide, pergolide, terfenadine, or tramadol.


Lastly, before treatment with Perphenazine it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients, other medicines (especially other phenothiazines), food or any other substance
  • You have ever had to deal with severe reactions (e.g. jaundice) after taking a phenothiazine
  • You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, particularly medicinal products that may increase the risk of QT prolongation and drugs against allergies, bleeding problems, tumors, infections, inflammation, pain, heart problems, blood pressure or high cholesterol, irregular heartbeats, psychological or mood disorders, nausea or vomiting, Parkinson's disease, seizures, gastrointestinal problems or overactive bladder, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginsegng, gingko and St. John's wort
  • You suffer (or have suffered) from heart or pressure problems, blood or bone marrow disorders, diabetes, liver or kidney problems, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, prostatic hypertrophy, seizures, trouble passing urine, behavioral or psychological problems, pheochromocytoma, asthma, infections or other lung problems, breathing problems, glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye, Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, Parkinson's disease, Reye syndrome, high levels of prolactin, and tumors
  • You are at risk for glaucoma or breast cancer
  • You are in poor health
  • You are under regular exposure to extreme heat or insecticides
  • You have a history of alcoholism, if you drink alcohol or if you are in alcohol withdrawal
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding