Anxiety Home > Treating Anxiety With Trifluoperazine and How It Works

Trifluoperazine Uses for Anxiety

Most people experience feelings of anxiety before an important event, such as a big exam, business presentation, or first date. Anxiety disorders, however, are illnesses that load people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear that are chronic and unremitting, and that can grow progressively worse.
Depending on the type of anxiety, a person can experience several possible anxiety symptoms, including:
  • Feeling shaky, jittery, or nervous
  • Feeling tense, fearful, or apprehensive
  • Avoiding certain places or activities because of fear
  • A pounding or racing heart
  • Trouble catching your breath when nervous
  • Unjustified sweating or trembling
  • A knot in your stomach
  • A lump in your throat
  • Finding yourself pacing
  • Being afraid to close your eyes at night for fear that you may die in your sleep
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying.
In general, two types of anxiety treatment are available for an anxiety disorder:
Trifluoperazine is approved for short-term treatment of anxiety. Because of the potentially serious side effects of trifluoperazine, it should be used only when other anxiety medications have failed or cannot be taken for various reasons. When taken for anxiety, the drug should not be taken at doses higher than 6 mg a day or for more than 12 weeks.

How Trifluoperazine Works

Trifluoperazine belongs to a group of medications called phenothiazines. When used to treat schizophrenia, it is known as a typical (or first-generation) antipsychotic medication. It is not entirely known how the drug works. However, it is known that it blocks or lessens the effects of dopamine, a chemical in the brain. Dopamine may be elevated in people with schizophrenia or anxiety. Trifluoperazine is not a cure for schizophrenia or anxiety -- it only helps to control symptoms (see Symptoms of Schizophrenia or Anxiety Symptoms).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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