Trifluoperazine is used to treat schizophrenia. It may also be used for the short-term treatment of certain types of anxiety.


What is Trifluoperazine?

Trifluoperazine is a phenothiazine. Its exact mechanism of action has not yet been identified.


How should Trifluoperazine be taken?

Trifluoperazine can be taken orally. In case of stomach discomfort, it is advisable to take the medication on a full stomach. Trifluoperazine can also be administered intramuscularly via injections.


Side effects associated with Trifluoperazine

Trifluoperazine may be associated with the onset of neuroleptic malignant syndrome. It can also trigger involuntary muscle movements, reduce the body's ability to fight infections, lower the number of platelets and increase the levels of prolactin in the blood. Moreover, it can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, affect sugar levels in the blood, and alter the results of pregnancy tests and some laboratory tests (including those for phenylketonuria).


Among the other possible side effects of trifluoperazine include the following:


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


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if you experience:


  • Rash
  • Urticaria
  • Itch
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness or chest pain
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
  • Unusual hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Blurry vision
  • Fainting
  • Slow, fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Tight face
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Psychological or behavioral problems
  • Numbness of an arm or a leg
  • Prolonged or painful erection
  • Restlessness
  • Convulsions
  • Severe or persistent constipation
  • Severe or persistent dizziness, drowsiness or headache
  • Physical disability
  • Insomnia
  • Stiff muscles
  • Sudden shortness of breath or vomiting
  • Swelling of the hands, ankles or feet
  • Symptoms of infections
  • Symptoms of liver problems
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Tic
  • Uncontrollable muscle movements
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual eye movements or incapability of moving the eyes
  • Excessive sweating
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Pallor
  • Vision problems


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Trifluoperazine

Trifluoperazine is contraindicated in case of severe drowsiness, reduced bone marrow function, blood disorders or liver damage. It is also prohibited to take this medication in combination with alcohol or certain medications that may cause drowsiness (astemizole, cabergoline, cisapride, metoclopramide, pergolide, terfenadine, or tramadol).


Treatment with trifluoperazine can compromise the ability to drive and operate hazardous machinery, especially when taken together with alcohol or other drugs. In addition, the dizziness associated with its intake can be aggravated by high temperatures, strenuous physical activity and fever.


Before starting treatment with trifluoperazine, it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or to any other drugs (especially phenothiazines) or food
  • You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular medications against:  QT prolongation, allergies, bleeding problems, cancer, infection, inflammation, pain, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, irregular heartbeat, psychological or behavioral disorders, nausea or vomiting, Parkinson's disease, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, or overactive bladder. It is also important to mention any intake of herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, gingko or St. John's wort
  • You are suffering (or have suffered) from heart problems, high or low blood pressure, blood or bone marrow problems, diabetes, liver or kidney disorders, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, prostatic hypertrophy, seizures, trouble passing urine, psychological or mood disorders, pheochromocytoma, asthma, lung infections or other breathing problems, increased pressure in the eye or glaucoma, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease or dementia, Reye's syndrome, high levels of prolactin or tumors
  • You are at risk of developing glaucoma
  • You are at risk of developing breast cancer
  • You are exposed to high temperatures on a regular basis
  • You are exposed to insecticides on a regular basis
  • You are in poor health
  • You drink alcohol on a regular basis, you have a family history of alcohol abuse or you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding


It is important to inform physicians, surgeons and dentists of any ongoing treatment with trifluoperazine.