Phenothiazines are usually used to treat psychosis or schizophrenia; they're also given to patients with persistent nausea, premature ejaculation, or severe itching, and they're sometimes used to bring people down from bad LSD trips. They exert most of their effects by blocking dopamine-2 receptors, but they also block receptors for acetylcholine, serotonin, histamine, and norepinephrine.

The phenothiazines work well--although they don't cure schizophrenia entirely, they can reduce or suppress the hallucinations and delusions that plague schizophrenics, and they've allowed countless patients to leave mental hospitals and return to productive lives. Unfortunately, these drugs also come with several unpleasant side-effects: many patients experience impotence, sleepiness, dry mouth, constipation, hypotension, and blurred vision; if they're taken for a long time, the phenothiazines can produce akathisia and irreversible tardive dyskinesia. Many patients get irritated with these side-effects (particularly impotence) and decide to stop taking the drugs. Unfortunately, their symptoms then return, so they're reinstitutionalized, remedicated, and ultimately re-released; eventually, many patients stop taking the drugs again, leading to an endless cycle that's known as the revolving door phenomenon. (Some of the butyrophenones and newer-generation antipsychotics may have fewer side-effects, but in many cases it's still a matter of debate.)

Common phenothiazines and their generic names:
Brand Name.......Generic Name
Compazine........prochlorperazine
Mellaril.........thioridazine
Proketazine......carphenazine
Prolixin.........fluphenazine
Serentil.........mesoridazine
Stelazine........trifluoperazine
Thorazine........chlorpromazine
Tindal...........acetophenazine
Trilafon.........perphenazine
Vesprin..........triflupromazine

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.