Precautions and Warnings With Fluphenazine
There are several precautions and warnings with fluphenazine to be aware of before starting treatment. For example, it can increase your risk of developing a life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome and may not be safe to take when pregnant. Precautions and warnings with fluphenazine also extend to people who have liver disease, brain damage, or heart problems.
Fluphenazine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking fluphenazine (Prolixin®) if you have:
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- A blood disorder
- Brain damage
- Heart problems
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Bipolar disorder
- 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
- Have an upcoming surgery
- Drink alcohol.
You should also be sure to 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 FluphenazineWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking fluphenazine include the following:
- The medication can cause a life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Symptoms of NMS include:
- A high fever
- Stiff muscles
- An 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.
- Fluphenazine can cause tardive dyskinesia, a condition involving unusual, uncontrollable body or facial movements. The condition can become permanent even if fluphenazine 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 the drug.
- You may need to stop or reduce your dose of fluphenazine before a surgery -- ask your healthcare provider.
- Fluphenazine can impair your mental or physical abilities to drive a car or operate heavy machinery. Make sure you know how the medication affects you before you do any activities that require mental concentration or physical coordination.
- The medication can increase the risk of liver damage or eye damage. Let your healthcare provider know if you have liver disease or if you develop any vision changes while taking it.
- Fluphenazine can cause a drop in blood pressure (hypotension). This can cause a person to have lightheadedness or dizziness, or to faint. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms when standing. Hypotension can be especially dangerous in people with heart disease or congestive heart failure (CHF). Combining alcohol with fluphenazine can also increase the risk of hypotension (see Alcohol and Prolixin).
- The medication may increase the risk of seizures. Before starting fluphenazine, tell your healthcare provider if you have epilepsy or a history of seizures.
- Fluphenazine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to take when pregnant. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using fluphenazine during pregnancy (see Prolixin and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if fluphenazine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to beginning treatment (see Prolixin and Breastfeeding).
- Fluphenazine can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Fluphenazine).