Stelazine



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Generic Name: trifluoperazine
(trye floo oh PER a zeen)

What is Stelazine?

Stelazine is an anti-psychotic medication in a group of drugs called phenothiazines (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeens). It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain.

Stelazine is used to treat anxiety or psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Stelazine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Stelazine?

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs. These could be early signs of dangerous side effects.

Stelazine is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Trifluoperazine may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Do not use Stelazine if you have liver disease, brain damage, bone marrow depression, a blood cell disorder (such as low platelets or low red or white blood cell counts), or if you are also using large amounts of alcohol or medicines that make you sleepy. Do not use if you are allergic to trifluoperazine or other phenothiazines.

Before you take Stelazine, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), severe asthma or breathing problems, glaucoma, a history of seizures, adrenal gland tumor, Parkinson's disease, enlarged prostate or urination problems, low levels of calcium in your blood, past or present breast cancer, or if you have ever had a serious side effect while using trifluoperazine or similar medicines.

Before taking Stelazine, tell your doctor about all other medications you use.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking oral Stelazine?

Stelazine is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Trifluoperazine may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Do not use Stelazine if you have liver disease, brain damage, bone marrow depression, a blood cell disorder (such as low platelets or low red or white blood cell counts), or if you are also using large amounts of alcohol or medicines that make you sleepy. Do not use if you are allergic to trifluoperazine or other phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Permitil), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro), promethazine (Adgan, Pentazine, Phenergan), or thioridazine (Mellaril).

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you take Stelazine, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease high blood pressure, or angina (chest pain)
  • severe asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problem
  • glaucoma
  • a history of seizures
  • adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • enlarged prostate or urination problems
  • low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia)
  • past or present breast cancer; or
  • if you have ever had a serious side effect while using Stelazine or another phenothiazine.

Tell your doctor if you will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, or to insecticide poisons while you are taking Stelazine.

It is not known whether Stelazine will harm an unborn baby. Trifluoperazine may cause side effects in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking trifluoperazine.

Stelazine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.

Talk with your doctor before giving this medication to a child who has been ill with a fever or flu symptoms.

How should I take Stelazine?

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while taking Stelazine.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Stelazine.

If you need to have an x-ray or CT scan of your spinal column using a dye that is injected into a vein, you may need to temporarily stop taking Stelazine. Be sure the doctor knows ahead of time that you are using this medication.

Do not stop using Stelazine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or feeling shaky. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using trifluoperazine.

Store Stelazine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include dry mouth, constipation, bloating or stomach cramps, extreme drowsiness or feeling restless and agitated, changes in heart rate, fever, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Stelazine?

Stelazine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of Stelazine.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Stelazine can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, and a sunburn may result. Wear sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and protective clothing if you must be outdoors.

What are the possible side effects of Stelazine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Stelazine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs
  • tremor (uncontrolled shaking), drooling, trouble swallowing, problems with balance or walking
  • feeling restless, jittery, or agitated
  • high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, rapid breathing
  • feeling like you might pass out
  • decreased night vision, tunnel vision, watery eyes, increased sensitivity to light
  • seizure (black-out or convulsions);
  • nausea and stomach pain, skin rash, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • urinating less than usual or not at all
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, fever, sore throat, flu symptoms
  • joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, chest pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and patchy skin color; or
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • blurred vision, headache
  • dry mouth, stuffy nose
  • constipation
  • breast swelling or discharge
  • a missed menstrual period
  • weight gain, swelling in your hands or feet
  • mild itching or skin rash; or
  • impotence, trouble having an orgasm.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Stelazine?

Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can interact with Stelazine and cause medical problems or increase side effects. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines, or any other anti-psychotic medications.

Also tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • atropine (Atreza, Sal-Tropine)
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • an antibiotic
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement estrogens
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin)
  • certain asthma medications or bronchodilators
  • a diuretic (water pill)
  • drugs to treat high blood pressure or a prostate disorder, such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), tamsulosin (Flomax)
  • incontinence medications;
  • insulin or diabetes medications you take by mouth
  • medication for nausea, vomiting, or motion sickness
  • medications to treat or prevent malaria
  • medications used for general anesthesia
  • medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection
  • numbing medicine such as lidocaine or Novocain
  • a stimulant or ADHD medication
  • ulcer or irritable bowel medications; or
  • medicines to treat Parkinson's disease, restless leg syndrome, or pituitary gland tumor (prolactinoma).

This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can interact with Stelazine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about Stelazine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.