Chlorpromazine Warnings and Precautions
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with chlorpromazine include:
- Chlorpromazine should not be used in children with Reye's syndrome. Symptoms of Reye's syndrome usually develop after a viral infection and can include:
- Personality changes, such as irritability or combativeness
- Disorientation or confusion
- Chlorpromazine can cause a life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Some symptoms of NMS include:
- A high fever
- Stiff muscles
- Irregular pulse or blood pressure
- A fast heart rate (tachycardia)
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
Tell your healthcare provider right away if think you might have NMS.
- Chlorpromazine can cause tardive dyskinesia, a condition involving unusual, uncontrollable body or face movements. The condition can become permanent (even if chlorpromazine is stopped). The best way to prevent it from becoming permanent is to tell your healthcare provider right away if you notice any abnormal movements (including abnormal movements of the tongue) while taking chlorpromazine.
- Chlorpromazine can impair your mental or physical abilities to drive a car or operate heavy machinery. Make sure you know how chlorpromazine affects you before you do any activities that require mental concentration or physical coordination. Combining chlorpromazine with medications or substances that cause drowsiness (such as narcotics, alcohol, or barbiturates) can be dangerous (see Alcohol and Thorazine).
- Chlorpromazine 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 Thorazine Sexual Side Effects).
- Since the liver and kidneys help remove chlorpromazine from the body, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have liver or kidney disease. You may need to be monitored more closely (or may need a lower chlorpromazine dosage).
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have breathing problems, as chlorpromazine could worsen these problems.
- Chlorpromazine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to take during pregnancy. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using chlorpromazine during pregnancy (see Thorazine and Pregnancy).
- Chlorpromazine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using chlorpromazine (see Thorazine and Breastfeeding for more information).
- Chlorpromazine can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Chlorpromazine).