Chlorpromazine is used to treat schizophrenia (an illness that causes changes in perception, thoughts and behaviour ) and bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness). It helps to quickly relieve symptoms common in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, such as agitation, distress, distorted thinking and emotional instability.
Chlorpromazine is also used to treat other conditions such as
- severe nausea and vomiting in terminal illnesses such as terminal cancer
- severe hiccups that cannot be stopped
- anxiety or nervousness before surgery
- irritability or aggressiveness in children with autism
Chlorpromazine Intramuscular injection is to be injected into the buttock muscles.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
Chlorpromazine Intramuscular injection is given when you are not able to swallow pills or if you need urgent treatment for your condition. Your doctor will advise you about when you can switch from the injection to the pills.
Chlorpromazine Intramuscular injection must not be injected intravenously or subcutaneously.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Chlorpromazine is not suitable for patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Inform your doctor if you have:
- blood disorders
- an enlarged prostate
- heart disease
- liver or kidney problems
- asthma and other lung diseases causing breathlessness
- thyroid problems
- problems with blood clotting, especially a tendency to develop blood clots
- an adrenal gland tumour known as phaeochromocytoma
- Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease
- epilepsy (fits)
- glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
- myasthenia gravis (a condition that causes muscle weakness)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Chlorpromazine may affect the ability of your body to adjust to temperature changes in the environment. Avoid exposure to very cold or very hot environments.
If you are going for an operation, including minor operations and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are being treated with Chlorpromazine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. You may need to have regular blood tests to monitor your body's response to Chlorpromazine. These blood tests will be more frequent in the first few months and gradually become less frequent.
Chlorpromazine may make you drowsy or dizzy. If you feel drowsy or dizzy, or if Chlorpromazine causes your vision to become blurred, lie down and rest. Do not drive or take part in any activities in which you need to be alert or be able to see clearly.
Dizziness may be worse when you get up from a sitting or lying down position, especially if you are using Chlorpromazine Intramuscular injection for the first time or if your dose is still being adjusted. It will help if you get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position. Let your doctor know if you feel drowsy or dizzy after the injection. Your doctor may need to check your blood pressure and heart rate.
Other common side effects with Chlorpromazine include muscle stiffness, muscle spasm, involuntary movements and the urge to move about constantly. These are common in the first few days of treatment or if your dosage has been increased.
Chlorpromazine may also cause dry mouth, blocked nose, tiredness, difficulty urinating, constipation, problems sleeping, confusion, discolouration of your skin or urine, nightmares, depression, ejaculation problems and weight gain. Your skin may also become more sensitive to sunlight. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid direct or prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.
There may also be some pain and discomfort at the injection site. A small, hard lump may also form under the skin.
Other side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- muscle spasms or uncontrolled muscle movements of your body or face, such as sticking out of the tongue, smacking of the lips
- muscle stiffness, fever, excessive sweating, blood pressure changes
- yellowing of your eyes or skin
- swelling, redness or pain of the lower leg
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:
- medicines for anxiety e.g. citalopram, escitalopram
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. amitriptyline, haloperidol, lithium
- medicines for cold or allergy e.g. terfenadine
- medicines for epilepsy e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital
- medicines used to treat Parkinson's disease e.g. levodopa, bromocriptine
- medicines for heart disease e.g. quinidine, disopyramide, amiodarone, captopril
- diuretics (water pills) e.g. furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, indapamide
- medicines for diabetes e.g. glimepiride, metformin
- certain antibiotics e.g. moxifloxacin and sparfloxacin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Chlorpromazine.
Always notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol will worsen the dizziness and drowsiness caused by Chlorpromazine.
Avoid drinks that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea and certain soft drinks.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Store the injection in its original carton and protect from light. Light may cause the medication to lose some of its effectiveness. If the injection changes colour, do not use it.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.