Fluanxol: Undesirable effects are for the majority dose dependent. The frequency and severity are most pronounced in the early phase of treatment and decline during continued treatment.
Extrapyramidal reactions may occur, especially in the early phase of treatment. In most cases these side effects can be satisfactorily controlled by reduction of dosage and/or use of antiparkinsonian drugs. The routine prophylactic use of antiparkinsonian drugs is not recommended. Antiparkinsonian drugs do not alleviate tardive dyskinesia and may aggravate them. Reduction in dosage or, if possible, discontinuation of flupentixol therapy is recommended. In persistent akathisia a benzodiazepine or propranolol may be useful.
Frequencies are taken from the literature and spontaneous reporting. Frequencies are defined as: very common (≥1/10), common (≥1/100 to <1/10), uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100), rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000), very rare (<1/10,000), or not known (cannot be estimated from the available data). (See Table.)
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As with other drugs belonging to the therapeutic class of antipsychotics, rare cases of QT prolongation, ventricular arrhythmias-ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, Torsade de Pointes and sudden unexplained death have been reported for flupentixol (see Precautions).
Abrupt discontinuation of flupentixol may be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms. The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, rhinorrhoea, sweating, myalgias, paraesthesias, insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, and agitation. Patients may also experience vertigo, alternate feelings of warmth and coldness, and tremor. Symptoms generally begin within 1 to 4 days of withdrawal and abate within 7 to 14 days.