Pronunciation: seh-REN-till

Generic name(s): mesoridazine besylate

Drug Class: phenothiazine/ antipsychotic

Indications: It's most commonly used to treat schizophrenia; however, it may also be used to treat personality disorders, hyperactivity (particularly in the mentally retarded, alcoholism, anxiety

How supplied: 10-mg, 25-mg, 50-mg, and 100-mg tablets; 25 mg/mL liquid; 25 mg/mL ampuls for intramuscular injection

Dosage for adults: 50-400 mg for schizophrenia; usually less for other conditions

Dosage for children: Not established.

Contraindications: Serentil should not be used in patients who are taking central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, etc.

Precautions: May cause a drop in blood pressure. It may also lower the seizure threshold, increasing the risk of seizure; therefore, patients with seizure disorders may need a higher dose of their antiepileptic drugs. Like all phenothiazines, Serentil raises prolactin levels, which may be associated with a higher risk for breast cancer.

Interactions: Serentil may have a synergistic effect with other central nervous system depressants. It may also interact with atropine and phosphorous insecticides.

Common Side-Effects: drowsiness, hypotension, dry mouth, impotence, itching, tardive dyskinesia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Warnings: Pregnant women should avoid Serentil if at all possible, as its effects on the fetus are unknown. Long-term use of all phenothiazines, including Serentil, can cause tardive dyskinesia, which is a potentially irreversible syndrome involving constant involuntary movements. This syndrome sometimes--but not always--goes away when the drug is removed. Therefore, Compazine should be used with extreme caution and at the lowest possible dose for periods longer than a few months. Compazine can also cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which involves high fever, muscle rigidity, and irregular pulse or heartbeat.

Date of most recent update: 1/31/03

This writeup is intended only to provide information, not to recommend the prescription or use of this medication.

Sources: A Primer of Drug Action, Robert Julien
Physicians Desk Reference

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