Schizophrenia Home > Stelazine Warnings and Precautions

Stelazine warnings and precautions to be aware of include potential drug interactions and the danger of the medication causing a life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Conditions you should tell your healthcare provider about before you take Stelazine include a blood disorder, liver disease, or glaucoma. Stelazine warnings and precautions also extend to people with certain allergies and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Stelazine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Stelazine® (trifluoperazine hydrochloride) 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.
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 Stelazine Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Stelazine 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
  • Stelazine can cause a life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). 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.
  • Stelazine can cause tardive dyskinesia, a condition involving unusual and uncontrollable body or facial movements. The condition can become permanent even if Stelazine 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 the drug.
  • The medication can impair your mental or physical abilities to drive a car or operate heavy machinery. Make sure you know how Stelazine affects you before you do any activities that require mental concentration or physical coordination. Combining it with medications or substances that cause drowsiness (such as narcotics, alcohol, or barbiturates) can be dangerous (see Alcohol and Stelazine).
  • Stelazine 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 the drug can make these problems worse.
  • Stelazine can increase your sensitivity to the sun, which may increase your risk of a sunburn. You should use sunscreen before sun exposure while taking the drug.
  • Stelazine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to take while pregnant. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Stelazine during pregnancy (see Stelazine and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if Stelazine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before using the drug (see Stelazine and Breastfeeding).
  • Stelazine can interact with certain other medications (see Stelazine Drug Interactions).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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