Precautions and Warnings With Trifluoperazine

Precautions and warnings with trifluoperazine should be reviewed before starting treatment. For example, it can cause a life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome and can cause potential drug interactions. Conditions you should tell your healthcare provider about before taking the drug include breathing problems, glaucoma, or an enlarged prostate. Precautions and warnings with trifluoperazine also extend to people with a blood disorder or liver disease.

Trifluoperazine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking trifluoperazine hydrochloride (Stelazine®) if you have:
  • Breathing problems, including infections, asthma, or emphysema
  • A blood disorder
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Glaucoma
  • An enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Drink alcohol.
In addition, tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Trifluoperazine

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking trifluoperazine include the following:
  • The medication should not be used in children with Reye's syndrome. Symptoms of Reye's syndrome usually develop after a viral infection and include:
o Vomiting
o Personality changes, such as irritability or combativeness
o Disorientation or confusion
  • Trifluoperazine can cause a life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Some symptoms of NMS include:
o A high fever
o Stiff muscles
o Confusion
o An irregular pulse or blood pressure
o A fast heart rate (tachycardia)
o Sweating
o Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). 
Tell your healthcare provider right away if think you might have NMS.
  • The medication can cause tardive dyskinesia, a condition involving unusual and uncontrollable body or facial movements. The condition can become permanent even if trifluoperazine is stopped. The best way to prevent this is to tell your healthcare provider right away if you notice any abnormal movements (including abnormal movements of the tongue) while taking it.
  • Trifluoperazine can impair your mental or physical abilities to drive a car or operate heavy machinery. Make sure you know how the drug affects you before you do any activities that require mental concentration or physical coordination. Combining trifluoperazine with medications or substances that cause drowsiness (such as narcotics, alcohol, or barbiturates) can be dangerous (see Alcohol and Stelazine).
  • Trifluoperazine can increase the level of prolactin (a naturally occurring hormone) in the body. This can cause side effects such as breast changes or breast discharge, menstrual changes, or sexual problems (see Stelazine Sexual Side Effects).
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have breathing problems, as trifluoperazine can make these problems worse.
  • Trifluoperazine can increase your sensitivity to the sun, increasing your risk of a sunburn. You should use sunscreen before sun exposure while taking it.
  • Trifluoperazine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to take whle pregnant. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using trifluoperazine during pregnancy (see Stelazine and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if trifluoperazine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking the drug (see Stelazine and Breastfeeding).
  • Trifluoperazine can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Trifluoperazine).
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Trifluoperazine Hydrochloride

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