Fluphenazine is used to treat certain mood disorders including schizophrenia (a long-term mental disorder that causes changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviour). It helps relieve symptoms common in schizophrenia, such as distorted thinking and emotional instability.
This medicine is used for long-term maintenance treatment. It is usually used if you cannot swallow pills or if your doctor decides that an injection will help manage your condition better.
Fluphenazine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Fluphenazine injection is given either intramuscularly (into the muscles, usually in the buttocks) or subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the abdomen or thighs).
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need this injection.
It is important that you continue with the injections even when you feel well. Do not stop using Fluphenazine injection suddenly as this may worsen your condition.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Fluphenazine.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- brain injury or damage
- liver disease
- blood disorders
- severe depression
- phaeochromocytoma (rare tumour of the adrenal gland causing high blood pressure)
- receiving large doses of certain medicines for sleep disorder
as Fluphenazine may not be suitable for you.
Do not use this medicine to children unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
- heart disease
- thyroid disease
- severe lung disease
- slow bowel movement or when the bowel does not work properly
- with or a history of epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- history of low white blood cell count caused by drug use
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
- Parkinson's disease (a disorder that affects the movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement and impaired balance or walking)
- Alzheimer’s disease (a progressive disease which destroys memory and other important mental functions)
- exposed to extreme heat or phosphorus insecticides
- undergoing strenuous exercise
- enlarged prostate gland
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Notify your doctor if you have problems related to alcohol withdrawal.
If you are going to have an operation or procedure (e.g. positron emission tomography study), including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are being treated with Fluphenazine.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
What lifestyle changes should I make?
- Routine tests (e.g. liver/kidney function, cholesterol/sugar/electrolyte levels, eye examination, complete blood count) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring for signs of low blood pressure, changes in mental status, and changes in vision may also be needed.
Fluphenazine may affect the ability of your body to adjust to temperature changes in the environment. Avoid exposure to very cold or very hot environments. Avoid strenuous exercise and activities like going to the sauna. Drink more water to prevent dehydration.
Fluphenazine may cause drowsiness and blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
This medicine may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, nasal congestion, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, constipation, problems passing urine or passing urine too often, weight changes, difficulty sleeping, and skin sensitivity to sunlight.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- very high fever, muscle stiffness, feeling confused, irregular pulse, excessive sweating
- fever with persistent sore throats and mouth ulcers
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain
- muscle rigidity or spasms, difficulty swallowing or speaking, irregular or jerky movements, slowness of movements
- changes in sex drive, menstrual changes
- fits or seizures
- pain, swelling, and tenderness in your leg accompanied by redness and warmth
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, tiredness, swelling in the legs and ankles
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for mood disorders e.g. pimozide, lithium, chlorpromazine
- medicines to treat depression e.g. maprotiline, amitriptyline
- medicines for Parkinson's disease e.g. levodopa, bromocriptine
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. clonidine, bisoprolol, captopril, methyldopa
- medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. quinidine, disopyramide, procainamide, amiodarone, sotalol, digoxin
- quinine (medicine for malaria)
- sparfloxacin (certain antibiotic)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Fluphenazine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light.
Do not freeze Fluphenazine otherwise, it will no longer be effective and should not be used.
If you notice that the injection has markedly changed in colour or has become cloudy, do not use it. Throw it away and use a new injection.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.