You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking chlorpromazine if you have:
- Kidney problems, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Breathing problems, including infections, asthma, or emphysema
- An enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)
- Difficulty passing urine
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
In addition, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Thorazine and Pregnancy)
- Are breastfeeding (see Thorazine and Breastfeeding)
- Have an upcoming surgery
- Drink alcohol regularly (see Alcohol and Thorazine).
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Chlorpromazine Warnings and Precautions to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Chlorpromazine belongs to a group of medications called typical (or first-generation) antipsychotic medications. In particular, it is part of a group of medications called phenothiazines. It is not entirely clear precisely how chlorpromazine works. However, it is known that the drug blocks or lessens the effects of dopamine, a chemical in the brain. Dopamine may be elevated in people with schizophrenia.
This medication is not a cure for schizophrenia. It only helps to control symptoms (see Symptoms of Schizophrenia).
Since dopamine can activate the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting, chlorpromazine can treat severe nausea and vomiting by lessening the effects of dopamine in the brain.