Prolixin, also known as fluphenazine, is prescribed by doctors to reduce and control the delusions, hallucinations, and other symptoms that accompany schizophrenia. This medication will help control the symptoms of schizophrenia, but it will not cure this condition. Prolixin is part of a group of medications known as conventional antipsychotics and works in the brain to help control abnormal or disturbing thoughts and emotions.
Prolixin comes in tablet and liquid form and can be taken with food. This medication is usually taken several times a day, and it is important to take this medication on a regular schedule. It may take several weeks to feel the full effect of this medication, because it builds up in a person's system gradually.
Important Information Before Use
Older adults with dementia should not take Prolixin. If you have or have ever been diagnosed with glaucoma, enlarged prostate, seizures, thyroid, kidney, or liver problems, you should talk to your doctor before you start taking this drug. You should also mention current or past alcohol withdrawal issues and any serious reactions you have had to other similar medications.
Prolixin may interact with other medications, including antihistamines, sleep aids, pain relievers, muscle relaxers, thyroid medications, and more. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication if you are taking other prescription drugs or supplements.
Important Information During Use
- Avoid getting Prolixin liquid on your skin; it can cause irritation.
- If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Prolixin, you should talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for your condition. Prolixin can cause problems in newborns if taken during pregnancy.
- If this medication upsets your stomach, you can take it with food or just after a meal to reduce this common side effect.
- Avoid smoking or tobacco products when taking this medication; tobacco use can reduce the effectiveness of this drug.
- This drug may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so be sure to use sunblock if you are spending time outside.
- Your surgeon or anesthesiologist needs to know that you are taking Prolixin if you are having any type of surgery, including oral or dental surgery.
- Overdose symptoms include difficulty breathing, rigid muscles or muscle weakness, low blood pressure, and coma.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages while on this medication. Alcohol can increase the amount or severity of side effects from this medication.
If you experience serious or severe side effects from Prolixin, you should call your doctor immediately. Serious side effects can include:
- Muscle spasms in jaw, neck, or back
- Flulike symptoms, including fever, sweating, chills, or sore throat
- Irregular or fast heartbeat
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Severe rash, itching, or hives
- Yellowed eyes or skin
- Extreme constipation
- Frequent urination or difficulty urinating
- Blurry vision
- Changes in sex drive or ability
- Speech difficulties
- Shuffling walk
- Tremors, shaking, or the inability to sit still
Less serious side effects can include:
- Drowsiness or tiredness
- Sleep disturbances, insomnia, and nightmares
- Dry mouth
- Anxiety, restlessness, or excitement
- Changes in appetite or weight gain
- Stomach upset
- Increased skin sensitivity to sunlight
You should not stop taking Prolixin abruptly. It is important to taper off of this medication slowly to avoid serious adverse reactions. Possible symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Dizziness or shakiness
- Stomach pain
- The return of psychotic symptoms, including delusions or hallucinations
- Information on conventional antipsychotics. (2011, March 29). Retrieved from Information on Conventional Antipsychotics
- Prolixin (fluphenazine). (2013, January). Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=About_Medications&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=51&ContentID=66278
Page content reviewed by James Pendleton, ND
Last Update: 12-22-2014